IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Wednesday, February 08, 2012

At 2:13 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr.

(Prayer by Senator Marcos)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.

THE SECRETARY:  Honorable Senators:  Angara; Arroyo; Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor, Santiago; Drilon; Ejercito, Estrada; Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; Senate President Enrile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 21 Senator-Judges present in the Chamber, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-At-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

THE SGT-AT-ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Guingona is seeking the floor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Senator from Bukidnon, Senator Guingona.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Magandang hapon sa lahat.

Para po maintindihan ng mga kababayan natin, marami pong mga kababayan natin ngayon ang nangangamba at kasama na nga ako doon, nangangamba na magkakaroon po daw ng constitutional crisis.  Ngayon po ay may pending petition sa Korte Suprema na pigilan ang paglabas ng subpoena mula sa impeachment court na may kaugnayan sa bank deposits ng nasasakdal.  Ngayon pong hapong ito, meron akong tatlong mahalagang punto.  First, the impeachment process is the people’s way of making public officials accountable.  The people through the Constitution repose this power on Congress.  Therefore, the Senate as an impeachment court is independent.  Second, since the impeachment court is independent and a class of its own, the Supreme Court cannot and should not impose its will on this body.  Because at this point, we are not a coequal branch of government.  We are coequal if we are exercising legislation, legislative functions.  But at this point, mga kababayan ko, we are not legislating, we are exercising a specific special judicial function and that is sitting as an impeachment court.  Sana po makita ng Korte Suprema ang puntong iyon.  Pangatlo po, the Senate as an impeachment court has the sole, the sole power to try and decide cases on impeachment.  Uulitin ko po ang dati kong sinabi—nandito po kami hindi lamang bilang Senador, nandito po kami bilang Senator-Judges.  We are here to hear a case and to pass judgment on the accused.  Pero mga kababayan, may tiwala pa rin ako sa Korte Suprema na alam nito ang tamang dapat gawin at alam ko tutulungan tayo ng Korte Suprema sa paghahanap ng katotothanan.  Maraming salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, I move to defer the approval of the Journal of February 7, 2012 for a later time, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  What is the pleasure of the Lady Senator from Taguig?

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President, I just have a comment to make on the Journal.

Mr. President, in our Journal of yesterday, a copy of which we were furnished a copy, there is a statement by Representative Fariñas and I’d like to quote from the records, “Kaya ang Kongreso po nagsasama po tayo.  Magkasama po tayo dito, hindi po tayo magkakaaway.  Ang ang kalaban po natin ay iyong respondent dahil pinapanagot natin siya.”

Yan po ang records natin at importante pong malaman ho nating lahat na araw-araw, sinusulat po natin ang kasaysayan ng ating bayan.  Kaya po, palagay ko, imporrtanteng ilagay ko rin sa records na hindi po tayo sama-sama.  Kanya-kanya po tayong tungkulin.  Ang prosecutor ay prosecutor.  Ang defense ay ang defense. At kami pong mga Senador ay mga huwes.

So, liwanagin po natin kasi marami ho akong natanggap na tanong na mga nakapanood kung magkakasama po ang prosecutors at ang Senado.  Hindi po, magkakaiba ho ang ating tungkulin dito.

So nililiwanag ko po yan dahil po balang araw, babasahin po itong records na ito, at importanteng malaman ng tao na may kanya-kanya tayong hiwa-hiwalay na tungkulin.

Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

May I just request everybody to think about what they say in this Impeachment Court.  The opinions of people speaking here are respected but those statements are opinions, they are not rulings of the court.  The court will act as a collegial body, the vote on any given issue, and the vote of the majority is the position of the Impeachment Court.  And I hope that the public will understand this.

And may I also suggest and request that whoever speaks in this Chamber must not involve the Members of this court.  We are not partisan in this court.  We are the tryers and hearers of fact.  And I think every lawyer elementarily know this norm.  We are not combatants.  We are judges.  We are the referee between the prosecution and the defense.

And I hope that whatever statements implying that this court is an adversary to anyone, whether the prosecution or the defense, should be taken without any value because this court is a court of law designated by the sovereign people in their Constitution to render justice according to the evidence and nothing more and nothing less.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we now proceed with the trial.  May we ask the Secretary to call the impeachment case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary may now please call the impeachment case.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011 in the matter of impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to warn everybody that this court has been quite lenient in the handling of this proceeding, but henceforth, the Chair announces that we will apply the full force of the powers of this court to maintain order and discipline in the conduct of this trial.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, thank you.

Mr. President, before I move to recognize a member of the prosecution, may I ask that they make their appearances or enter their appearances first, prosecution and then the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances for the prosecution.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.  For the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearances, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The appearance of the prosecution is noted.

The defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, same appearance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the defense, noted.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, may we recognize a member of the prosecution panel, Congressman Rudy Fariñas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Ilocos Norte has the floor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.

Unang-una po, humihingi po ako ng paumanhin kung iyong istilo po ng aking pakikipagpalit ng kuru-kuro po kahapon ay hindi po maganda ang dating sa iba po.  Pero sinasabi ko po na ako po ay lubos na gumagalang sa Pangulo ng Senado at sa mga miyembro po, mga kagalang-galang na Senador.  Alam naman po ninyo, sa aking pakikitungo sa inyo, dati-dati na po, Ginoong Pangulo, ang tawag ko po sa inyo, Sir, at buong respeto naman po ang ibinibigay ko.

Kahapon po, may nabanggit po ako dito, at lilinawin ko po, ito po iyong records ng minutes mismo.  Ang sabi po dito, sabi ng Presiding Officer, pero may parusa, may parusa dito di ba?  Ang sagot ko po, ang parusa lamang po sa impeachment, pagtatanggal lang po sa trabaho.  Presiding Officer, tama.  Pero iyon ay hindi ba parusa iyon, hindi ba ho?  Sagot ko po, yes, Sir.  Pero kung sinabi rin po ng 16 dito na tanggal ang Senador, tanggal na po sa pagka-Senador.  Maski po si Kagalang-galang Bong Revilla na hinalal ng 20 milyon na namboboto, kapag sinabi po ng 2/3 dito, tanggal kang Senador dahil ang gulo-gulo mo dito, halimbawa, halimbawa, tanggal po siya sa trabaho.  Hindi po siya pwedeng umangal na, ay bakit ganoon ang due process?

Ang puntos ko lamang po doon ay sinasabi ko po na tayo po na public officers, maski Pangulo po ng bansa, kapag sinabi po ng 16 po dito, at na-impeach po ng 1/3 ng House at hinatulan po ng kagalang-galang na Senado, maski Pangulo po ng bansa, o pangalawang Pangulo po ng bansa, tanggal po iyan, maski po Chief Justice, dahil ganoon po.

Kagalang-galang Bong Revilla, alam naman po ninyo ang pagrespeto ko po sa inyo.  Ipinakita ko lamang po iyon na maski halimbawa, si Chiz Escudero, honorable Chiz Escudero, sa susunod na eleksyon, mag-number one din po siya katulad ninyo, maski ilang milyon po iyong bumoto sa kanya, kapag sinabi po ng dalawa bawat tatlo na miyembro po dito, because isa lamang po ang dahilan na pwede po tayong tangggalin ng ating Kamara, disorderly behaviour lamang po.  Iyong medyo kulang po kayo—ano po ba ang tagalong ng disorderly behaviour?  E parang ang nadukot ko na pong tagalong ay iyong “ang gulo-gulo”.  Magulo, hindi ba disorderly behaviour, magulo.  Iyon lamang po ang ibig kong sabihin, Ginoong Pangulo.

At kung iyon po ay iba ang dating o pagkaintindi ng iba, ako po ay humihingi ng patawad at paumanhin pero malayo, malayo po sa aking intensyon na babanggitin ko na magulo ang sinuman po dito.  Wala po iyon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We note the statement of the honorable Gentleman from the House.

The Gentleman from Cavite has the floor.

SEN. REVILLA.  Well, Mr. President, nasaktan lang ako doon, doon sa point na sinabi niya na ang gulo-gulo.  Baka maguluhan din ang taumbayan, isipin nila na si Senator Bong Revilla ay nanggugulo sa Senado.

Mr. Congressman, matagal nating iniingatan ang pangalan natin.  Matagal nating binuo iyan.  Kailangang maging maingat tayo sa mga salitang bibitawan natin.

I do respect you.  You are a friend of my dad.  Pero igalang nyo ang bawat isa sa amin dito.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Opo.  Katulad nga po ng sinabi ko po, ang taas-taas po ng paggalang ko sa inyong lahat po.  Kaya maliwanag po, ni hindi nga po …

SEN. REVILLA.  Apology accepted.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us end this discussion.  Let us proceed with the case.

SEN. SOTTO.  With that, Mr. President, I move to dispense with the reading of the Journal of February 7, 2012 of the Senate seating as an impeachment court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence).  The Chair hears none; the journal is approved.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there was a motion for reconsideration

filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago in a letter yesterday which we took up into caucus.  May I be allowed to read the resolution of the court after the decision was made this afternoon or this noon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. SOTTO.  “This resolves the motion for reconsideration filed on 7 February 2012 by  Senator Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago on 6th February 2012 resolution of this impeachment court granting the prosecution’s request for subpoena to the responsible officers of the Philippine Savings Bank, PS Bank, and the Bank of Philippine Islands but subject to specific limits.

At today’s caucus, Senator Judge Vicente Sotto III moved to adopt the motion for reconsideration made by Senator Defensor Santiago.  In view of the contrary view on the ruling of the impeachment court expressed by a Senator Judge, through a motion for reconsideration, a vote to consider the motion is necessary.  After deliberating on the issue, the majority resolved not to consider the motion for reconsideration.”

For the information of the court, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any comment from the members of the court?  (Silence)…None, please proceed with the trial.  The prosecution is still presenting its evidence.  You may proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  ..Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yesterday, Your Honor, I requested permission from this honorable court to allow me to conduct my cross-examination of the witness on the stand, Mr. Andoiza, Your Honor.  We are now ready, Your Honor, to cross-examine Mr. Andoiza.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  Let the witness who is supposed to be under cross-examination today be brought to the Chamber, take the witness stand to be cross-examined by the defense counsel.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  Before we proceed with the cross-examination, Mr. President,  for the information also of the court, we have an urgent petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for immediate issuance of temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction by Chief Justice Corona.  And in receipt also of a petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Procedure with application for TRO and a writ of preliminary injunction by the Philippine Savings Bank and Pascual M. Garcia III.  And also motion to defer action on subpoena of banks and motion to stop reception of evidence.

Mr. President, with the permission of the Chamber, I move that the body go into caucus immediately to resolve these issues before we go into the cross-examination proper of the trial, Mr. President.  I so move.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the Court?  (Silence)  No objection?  With due respect to the distinguished head of the defense counsel, will you allow us to go into a caucus first before you proceed with your cross-examination so that we can discuss these new matters that were brought to our attention just a while ago so that we can deal with them accordingly.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, very willingly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Trial suspended and all the members of the court will go into caucus.

It was 2:33 p.m.

At 3:33 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, for the record, on the motion to defer action on subpoena of banks pending before us earlier, the majority of the members of the court have decided to deny the motion, Mr. President, for the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So Ordered.

SEN. SOTTO.  On the motion to stop reception of evidence in relation to the FASAP case, the majority of the members have decided to deny the motion with a reminder to the prosecution not to touch upon the merits of the case which is still pending before the Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So Ordered.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, we are ready for the cross-examination of the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel may now proceed with the cross-examination of the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we are calling back witness witness Roberto Andoiza, President of FASAP.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

REP. BAG-AO.  Your Honor, the witness is here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of this honourable court, may we be allowed to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Mr. Andoiza, I understand that FASAP is a labor union

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So it also has a board of directors.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   May we know from you whether your appearance today is authorized by the board.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Kasama ho ng function ko iyan bilang presidente.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is not my question to you.  My question to you is whether there is a board resolution authorizing you to appear.  May we ask, Your Honor, that…

MR. ANDOIZA.  Wala po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala.  So you’re coming here is only at your instance, voluntarily.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Bilang presidente ng labor union.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I notice that while you were testifying, you were apparently too mad against Chief Justice Corona.  Am I right?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi naman po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What made you state that, kaya nga po gusto namin maalis na siya e.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Kasis nga because of sa pangingialam niya po.  Sa tingin namin sa pangingialam niya nagresulta sa pagkabawi ng final decision.  Of course, hindi kami naging masaya sa partisipasyon niya.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sa pagkaalam ninyo ano po ang naging base sa pagkaalam ninyo?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Sa mga earlier resolution po ng Supreme Court, malinaw na nag-inhibit siya earlier.  Tapos doon sa October 4, iyong pagbawi ng desisyon, nag-participate siya.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano pong desisyon iyong binawi?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Iyong ni-recall po iyong final decision noong September 10.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Iyong order denying the second motion for reconsideration.  Ganoon ho ba?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So the decision on the merit still stand.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And it is in favour of FASAP.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That not been touched whasoever.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi pa po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  So it is very clear now that what had been touched in  the resolution you are speaking of is only the order denying the second motion for reconsideration.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I noticed that you do not appear to have examined the resolution in connection with that.  Am I right?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Alin pong…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The denial of the second motion for reconsideration.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Nakita ko po iyon.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I am showing to you a notice dated October 25, 2011 en banc and this appears to, at the bottom portion thereof, it appears Corona CJ, Carpio, Velasco Jr., Leonardo de Castro took no part.  Are you referring to that resolution?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Tama po iyan. Chief Justice Corona took no part.  Andito po sa baba with Velasco Leonardo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you know that as a fact?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Yes, po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That notwithstanding you are recommending the dismissal of Chief Justice Corona?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Yes, po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No other ground?

MR. ANDUIZA.  May I add something po para—Kasi, iba ho ang nire-refer natin e.  Magkaiba ho.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, just kindly answer the question.  I’m asking you a definite question.  Are you …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hwag ka makipag-argumento sa abugado.  Sagutin mo lang yung tanong sayo.  Paki lang.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Para hindi tayo tatagal dito.  Wala tayong mahabang panahon e.  Sige.  Sagutin mo lang yung kwestyon.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Tama ho ‘to.  Noong October 18 notice en banc took no part si Chief Justice Corona.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

May we request, Your Honor, that this document identified by the witness be marked as Exhibit 60, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I’m showing to you again another resolution of the honourable Supreme Court en banc dated February 6, 2012.  Kindly go over the same and tell us whether you are acquainted or you know that resolution.

Witness perusing the same, Your Honor.

Ang tanong po lang sa inyo, yan ba’y nakita nyo nang dati?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request, Your Honor, that this document be marked as Exhibit 61, Your Honor, for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  What is the date of that resolution?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  October 24, Your Honor.

MR. ANDUIZA.  October 4.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  October 4, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s different from the previous resolution?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  What was the date of the previous resolution?

REP. BAG-AO.  May we request if we can see also the document, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The first one, Your Honor, is dated October 18, 2011, Your Honor, which is prosecution’s Exhibit SSSSSS, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That was the first resolution?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s correct, Your Honor

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the second resolution is dated 24?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  October 4, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  October?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  4, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah, October 4.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Witness going over the same, Your Honor.

Sige po. Sige po.  Okay?  Tama yon?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Tama po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I notice that in this resolution, more particularly at the bottom thereof which states, “The court en banc further resolves to recall the resolution dated September 7, 2011 by the Second Division in this Court.”  Did you notice that?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Tama po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So the recalling of the resolution concerning the second motion for reconsideration was made by the court en banc.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Yes, po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  Not by Chief Justice Corona?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You will agree that Chief Justice Corona had nothing to do with the recall of the resolution.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Meron po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  O, sabihin nga ninyo kung anong kinalaman niya sa resolution na ‘to.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Kasama po siya sa nag-decide.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Pano nyo sinabi na kasama siya?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Nakalagay po sa baba ng resolusyon na yan yung mga wala don.  Wala yung pangalan niya doon po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So yun lang ang batayan ninyo?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You have not gone over the records of the Supreme Court in connection with this resolution?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Yung previous records po mayroon na siyang …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, only this …

MR. ANDUIZA.  Ah, diyan po, wala kami doon sa loob.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala.  Now, may I know from you, whether you have been an employee or official of the Supreme Court?

MR. ANDUIZA. Hindi po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi po.  You will agree with me therefore that you have no knowledge, whatsoever, of the rules and procedures of the court, both in the division and in en banc.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Sa kaunting consultation po with the lawyers, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alam mo ba iyong reglamento ng Korte Suprema?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O, ayun.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, the basis of your statement now, relative to—hindi po nakalagay diyan ang pangalan niya, e yun lang sinabi sa inyo ng mga abogado.  Mga abogado ba o abogado lang?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Abogado po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sino po in particular?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Atty. Kapunan po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Attorney …

MR. ANDUIZA.  Santiago Kapunan.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Iyong abogado niyo?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, kung sinabi sa inyo ni Atty. Santiago—hindi ho ba ito ang dating retired justice?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po, anak po ito.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Anak, I see, e kung sinabi sa inyo na ganito at ganito, komo wala kayong nalalaman, ang aking pakahulugan ay paniniwalaan nyo siya sapagakat siya ay abogado nyo, tama ho ba ako?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo, and based on the records din po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alin pong record ang sinasabi nyo?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Nandoon po sa baba ng resolution na binigay ng Korte Suprema.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, you mentioned while testifying on direct, that there was sort of a letter coming from Atty. Estelito Mendoza to the Chief Justice Corona.  Am I right?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Mayroon po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You have seen that letter?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Only after the recall order po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the letter was addressed—was signed by Atty. Mendoza?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Addressed to the Chief Justice?

MR. ANDUIZA.  The clerk of court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ah, clerk of court.  You are now withdrawing your statement that it is a letter to Atty. Mendoza to the clerk of court, not to the Chief Justice.

MR. ANDUIZA.  To the clerk of court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see.  Now, in accordance with the rules of procedure obtaining in the Supreme Court, once a letter of that sort is brought to the attention of the court, it is referred to the clerk of the division involved.  Am I right?

MR. ANDUIZA.  In my recollection po, may letter doon na may cc, copy furnished po iyong Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we move to strike out the answer of the witness, Your Honor.  Very unresponsive.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Stricken of the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ang tanong ko po sa inyo ay ganito, kapag mayroon sulat sa clerk of court ng isang division ng Supreme Court, ito ay nire-refer sa division.  Hindi ho ba?  Iyon ang tanog ko lang sa inyo.  Oo lang o hindi.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Opo.  Ito ho bang sulat na ito, alinsunod sa pagkaalam nyo o sa sinabi sa inyo ni Atty. Kapunan, ni-refer sa division?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po.  Hindi ko po alam.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano pong hindi?  Hindi ni-refer?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po naming alam yon.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ah hindi nyo alam.  Kung sabihin ko sa inyo, na itong sulat na ito ni Atty. Mendoza, doon sa clerk of court, ni-refer sa division, hindi nyo mapapasinungalingan yan, hindi ho ba?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sapagkat wala kayong kinalaman diyan?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Basta galit lang kayo kay Chief Justice Corona.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi naman dahil galit lang.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  O, ano po ang ibig nyong sabihin?  Kung walang kinalaman si Chief Justice Corona dito, e bakit kayo galit kay Chief Justice Corona sa pagre-recall nito?

REP. BAG-AO.  Already answered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No.  I have not even asked the question, how could be they have been answered.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Antayin mo muna na matapos iyong tanong bago mo sagutin.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Ang sinasabi ko po na doon, siya lang ang kakaiba ang sitwasyon, dahil nag-inhibit—siya lang yong justice na nag-inhibit sa mga previous decisions ng FASAP, nag-participate siya sa recall at nag-inhibit po muli.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, we move to strike out the answer of the witness, and we request, Your Honor, that the witness be directed to answer …

REP. BAG-AO.  But that is the answer of the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Unresponsive.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ang tanong ko lang po sa inyo ay ito, may sulat na dumating sa clerk of court ng isang division, in this particular case, second division, alam ba nyo na ang sulat na iyan ay ini-refer …

MR. ANDUIZA.  Hindi po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi nyo alam.  Hindi rin nyo alam kung ano ang aksyon na ginawa ng division?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Wala po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kung sabihin ko sa inyo na ini-refer ng division yan sa clerk of court en banc because dahil hindi nila mapagpasyahan, mayroon ba kayong ebidensya na iyan ay hindi totoo?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Wala po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sandali lang, lakasan mo lang iyong sagot mo.

MR. ANDUIZA.  Wala po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  So, the way I understood you, you have no complain about the procedure adopted in this case because you do not know the procedure.  Am I right?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Yes po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Now, I noticed that you were very, very categorical about complaining Chief Justice Corona, how about the other members of the division?  Do you have also similar complaint against them for revoking the previous order in connection with the second motion for reconsideration?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Wala po dahil iyong nag-inhibit po earlier, consistent nag-inhibit sila all the way.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Eh iyon hong iba na naging dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng resolution na ito, na nire-revoke iyong second motion for reconsideration, wala po kayong reklamo sa kanila?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Wala po.  Siya lang po iyong kakaiba ang sitwasyon.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Did you note that the recall order was unanimous?  Ibig sabihin, lahat ay bumoto, iyong nakalagay dito?  Hindi rin ninyo alam iyan.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Alam po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi ninyo alam.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Wala pong nakalagay po yata  sa decision.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sagutin mo lamang iyong tanong.  Alam mo ba o hindi mo alam?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At kung sabihin ko sa inyo na ang lumagda sa resolution na ito ay lahat ng miyembro ng husgado maliban kay Chief Justice Corona, hindi ninyo rin kayang pabulaanan iyan sapagka’t hindi ninyo alam ang prosidimyento sa Kagalang-galang na Kataas-taasang Hukuman, tama ho ba ako?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Tama po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I seem to recall you having testified that kayo ay napighati, na-damage kayo, nagkaroon kayo ng hindi magandang pakiramdam gawa ng pagkaka-recall.  Tama ho ba ako?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Bakit?  Naghahabol ho ba kayo ng damage dito sa kaso na ito kaya ninyo sinabing nagdamdam kayo, nag-emotionally involved kayo, ganito and so on …

MR. ANDOIZA.  Back wages po ng mga kasamahan namin.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi.  Kayo po.  Hindi ko itinatanong iyong mga kasamahan ninyo.  Hindi ninyo kayang sagutin iyon.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi po ako.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi po.  So, wala kayong claim for damages?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Wala po ako mismo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At hindi naman maaari na kayo ay mag-claim for damages dito sa impeachment proceedings na ito.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Wala rin po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Nalalaman ninyo iyan?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Salamat po.  That is all with the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any re-cross?

REP. BAG-AO.  No re-direct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No re-direct.  The witness is discharged.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Salamat po, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May magtatanong sa iyo.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Senator Loren Legarda wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The gentle Lady from Antique and the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.  Just points of clarification to summarize the quite complicated issues that were brought about.  May I request the Madam Prosecutor to answer the questions and please allow me to state what you stated, if it is correct, in terms of the dates.

Based on the testimony of the witness it was on July 22, 2008 that the decision was made by the Supreme Court in favour of FASAP.

REP. BAG-AO.  That is correct.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And on October 2, 2009, resolution denying PAL’s MR, from the decision dated July 22, 2008, is that correct?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And in these two occasions, the Chief Justice did not participate.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Was he already Chief Justice then?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo, nasa division po ang kaso na iyan.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Nasa division and he was already Chief Justice.

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi pa po.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Not yet.

REP. BAG-AO.  2008 at 2009 po iyong tinutukoy natin.

SEN. LEGARDA.  It was in a division to which he belonged.

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi po.  Lima po ang nag-decide sa kasong iyan.

SEN. LEGARDA.  He just did not take part because  he was not a member of that division to which it was assigned.  Thank you.  On September 7, 2011, there was a resolution denying PAL’s second MR with finality, is that correct?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And it affirmed again the July  22, 2008 decision to award the FASAP with whatever they were due is that correct?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  On October 4, 2011, there was a resolution recalling the resolution dated September 7, 2011 and opening the case again.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And this time, Chief Justice Corona was already Chief Justice.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  So, in the first two, he did not inhibit, he simply was not a member of the division.

REP. BAG-AO.  Iko-correct ko lang po.  Iyon pong pinaka unang decision noong 2008, ay nag-inhibit na po siya sa kaso na iyan sa raffle pa lang.  Kaya po hindi na siya naging bahagi sa pagde-decide noong kaso dahil pinalitan na siya.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Okay.  But on October 4, 2011, there was a resolution recalling, opening the case anew.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  He is already Chief Justice.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  PAL filed a second motion for reconsideration, no, this is the status of case now.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. LEGARDA.  This is the case pending.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  Yes, Ma’am.

SEN. LEGARDA.  It was mentioned in the reasons behind the testimony of Mr. Andoiza  that he was supposed to testify on the status of this FASAP case which he did and the two decisions which I am asking you now.  May this court be clarified on the circumstances concerning the recall of the decision and the alleged letters of Atty. Mendoza.  Because I do not have a copy of those letters. I do not know whether it has been make an exhibit so that we will try to link the relevance of those alleged letters whether they are directly addressed to the Chief Justice or merely letters as mentioned to the Clerk of Court copy furnished the Chief Justice.  And may I know the relevance of these letters to Section 3 of the Articles of Impeachment.

REP. BAG-AO.  Una po ay gusto ko pong banggitin na iyon pong October 4, 2011 decision ay AM matter, Administrative Matter No. 11-10-1-SC regarding letters of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza re G.R. No.178083, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, FASAP versus Philippine Airlines Inc., Patria Chiong et al.  Ito po iyong unang sagot.

Pangalawa po, iyong apat po na sulat ay bahagi po ng exhibit ng prosekusyon Exhibit TTTTTT-1 to 4.  Iyon pong apat na sulat ay iba-iba po ang sirkumstansya ng pagkakapadala sa Clerk of Court at sa pagbibigay ng kopya sa Chief Justice.  Iyong una pong sulat na may date na September 13 ay addressed po sa Clerk of Court pero may copy furnished po na the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Supreme Court, Manila.  Iyon pangalawa pong sulat ay may date na September 16, 2011.  Ulit po addressed po ito sa Clerk of Court at wala pong copy furnished.  Iyon pong pangatlong sulat ay September 20, 2011 addressed po ulit sa Clerk of Court at meron pong copy furnished na Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.  Iyon pong pang-apat na sulat ay ipinadala po noong September 22, 2011 at ang copy furnished po ay ang mga sumusunod:  Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Honorable Arturo D. Brion, Honorable Jose P. Perez, Honorable Diosdado M. Peralta, Honorable Lucas P. Bersamin, Honorable Jose C. Mendoza with copies of letters dated September 13, 16, 2011.  Ano po ang kaugnayan ng mga sulat na ito at iyong desisyon na October 4, 2011 na administrative matter sa Article III?  Iyon pong Article III ay tungkol sa betrayal of public trust at culpable violation of the Constitution dahil po sa hindi pagsunod ng Chief Justice sa requirement ng Constitution na ang isang huwes ay member ng Judiciary must a person of competence, integrity, probity and independence.  Ang sinasabi po namin sa titulo pa lang ng kaso ng AM na nagresulta ng pagbukas ulit ng G.R. No. 178083 ito po ay dahil sa mga sulat.  In fact ang title po ay re Letter of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza re G.R. No. 178083,  Pangalawa po ang gusto pong ihayag ng testigo na pinag-uusapan natin ay ang pagkaka-iba ng pagtrato ng mga sulat na ito sa sulat ng mga miyembro ng FASAP.  Sumulat po ang mga miyembro ng FASAP, prinesent din po namin iyan kahapon instead po sila ay ni-require to furnish a copy sa kabilang partido.  Pero itong sulat ni Attty. Mendoza ni hindi sila pinadalhan ng kopya, naging subject pa siya sa Administrative Matter No. 11-1-10 SC.  Iyon po ang malaking link at koneksyon ng mga sulat na ito sa akusasyon po namin na pagkakaiba ng pagtrato sa mga sulat.  Pangalawa po, ang pinag-uusapan po natin ay ang partisipasyon.  Doon po sa sagot, doon po sa lagging paulit-ulit na sagot ni Chief Justice kahit po sa kanyang answer, sinasabi po niya sa paragraph 4 at paragraph 6 sa kanyang sagot for Article III na siya po ay did not take part having been, inhibited from the case since 2008.  Iyon pong inhibition since 2008 ay tama.  Kasi sa recall pa lang po ng kasong ito na nasa Second Division kung saan si Justice Henares Santiago ang sumulat ng ponensiya bago pa po ito nadesisyunan ay nag-inhibit na po siya.  Kapag po nagi-inhibit ang isang huwes, kapag po naglalabas ng desisyon sinasabi po nila ang kanilang partisipasyon.  Sa lahat po ng mga kasong ito, in fact, yung order sa FASAP na magbigay ng kopya sa kabilang partido ay may nakalagay na Chief Justice Corona took no part.

Doon po sa kanilang administrative matter, yung pinakita po ni defense counsel na sulat na may petsang October 18, 2011, ito na po ang AM ulit, October 18, 2011.  Nakalagay po dito, Corona CJ, Carpio, Velasco Jr., Leonardo De Castro and Del Castillo JJ, no part.

Sa lahat po ng maga desisyon ay ini-indicate niya na no part, except, yun pong Administrative Matter No. 11-10-1-SC kung saan na-recall ang desisyon ng GR 178083.  Yung last paragraph po nakalagay, “The court furthermore resolves to re-raffle this case to a new member in charge (Carpio, Velasco Jr., Leonardo De Castro and Del Castillo JJ, no part.  Brion, no part insofar as the re-raffle is concerned.)”  Ito po ay desisyon, October 4, 2011.  Hindi po natin makikita sa desisyon at resolusyon na ito na may nakalagay na “Corona CJ, no part.”

Ang simpleng interpretasyon lang po ay siya po ay naging bahagi, no part.

SEN. LEGARDA.  So yun yung assumption?

REP. BAG-AO.  Nag-participate.  Took no part.  Ibig sabihin, nag-participate po siya sa kaso na yon.  Hindi po yon assumption.  Yun po ay nasa record.  At pwede pong—Hindi lang po sa record namin at pwede pong mag-take ng judicial notice ang korteng ito doon sa fact na yon, dahil requirement po na kailangang ilagay sa mga resolusyon at order ng korte ang kanilang partisipasyon sa isang kaso.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Salamat sa inyo.

Ang aking katanungan lang, alam kong—huling katanungan lang, sinisisi be nyo kay Chief Justice Corona yung pag-recall ng desisyon in favour of FASAP, bagama’t siya’y isa lamang sa mga nagdesisyon sa recall na ito?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  At papatunayan po namin yan, hindi lang po mula sa testigong ito, kundi pati din po sa iba pang mga testigo na gusto sana po namin maging bahagi para po mabuo yung picture, kung bakit po namin sinasabi na may malaking kinalaman, partisipasyon sa pagdedesisyon at pag-recall ng desisyon dito sa AM case na ‘to noong October 4, 2011.

SEN. LEGARDA.  So, ang ating testigo ngayon ay isa lamang tungkol sa FASAP case, dahil kung siya lang ang testigo tungkol dito ay siguro kulang pa ang paliwanag kung bakit si Chief Justice Corona lamang ang inyong sinisisi sa pag-back track, so to speak, ng Korte Suprema sa kasong ito.

REP. BAG-AO.  Tama po.  Tama po.  Ang kahalagahan po ng testigong ito ay para lang po i–establish yung unang fact.  Andito po kami i-establish yung fact.  Yung unang fact na dito sa AM case na ito kaiba sa lahat ng resolusyon, may “took no part”, at may pagkakaiba sa treatment ng letters.

Kaya nga po mahalagang-mahalaga yung aming mga request for subpoena para po ibigay yung next step ng istorya nung pagproseso sa pagre-resolve nung AM case na ito.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  The Minority Floor Leader. Yes, Mr. President.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Salamat po, Mr. President.  Magandang hapon po.

Marami sa katanungan ko nasagot na sa mga tanong ni Senator Legarda, but let me explain my clarification before I ask my questions.  Marami po kasing itatanong sa amin e.  Pagka-erroneous ba yung desisyon ng Supreme Court or kapagka yung losing litigant ba ay may angal, impeachable ba yon, or hindi ba natin binubuksan ang korte ang Impeachment Court at ang Kongreso bilang magi-impeach sa isang impeachable officer na basta’t makapangyarihan din or popular or whatever, for whatever reason, matalo sa korte, ay tumakbo sa Kongreso at hingin ang impeachment nung Justices na yan?  And in this case, kung live pa yung case, yung magiging epekto sa kaso na ito, no.

So, not to go into all of those details, but importateng maintindihan natin lahat ang kaibahan na kapagka ang isang kaso ay erroneous lang yung desisyon, and therefore, walang question hindi naman impeachable, or merong ibang circumstance na pupunta sa may basis or merong grounds for impeachment.

So, you already answered my—The first question about, sinasabi nyong reportedly, si Chief Justice sa 3.31 ang nag-order ng recall, nasagot nyo na po yan na you will call another witness.

Madam prosecutor, ang tanong ko po, what makes this different from just an ordinary case?  Is it the fact that—let me clarify po muna, in your view, final and executor na yong kaso na ni-reopen?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  Kung titingnan po natin yong wording ng resolution, pareho po doon sa 2008 at 2009, pareho pong may nakalagay na final and executor, 2009 and 2011, I am sorry, Sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, that is what you are proving.  Paki—nabasa ko po yong 3.3, 3.31 and 3.32, but please explain further, what do you want to show here—na final and executory na pero nabago, and then, si CJ Corona ang …

REP. BAG-AO.  Ang pinakamahalaga pong punto, without necessarily, Sir, going to the merits, because that is an issue still that we are talking about.

Ang pinaka-bottom line po ay hindi po naming—ang pinaka-bottom line po ay ang partisipasyon ni Chief Justice Corona sa pagbabaligtad ng kasong ito, iyong recall.

Sa mga—in contradiction sa mga sinasabi nga na he did not participate.  Sinasabi nga na he did not participate, pero klarong klaro naman, na he participated…

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Klaro po sa amin na kung siya ang nag-cause ng recall or kung siya po ay nag-participate o hindi, klaro sa amin na gusto nyong patunayan yon.  Ang hindi klaro, katulad po ng sinabi ng witness, and we are not talking about the merits ha at yong simpatya naming sa mga kaso.  Many of us made a stand of that before this court—before this impeachment court—ang tanong kasi, tinanong noong defense counsel e, so , hindi ka galit doon sa ibang mga miyembro ng korte, so, are we saying because final na iyong decision, nabaligtad pa, impeachable din lahat ng ibang justices na—they reopened the case that is supposed to be close?

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi po namin yon sinasabi sa ngayon, kasi ang gusto lang po naming patunayan, at in fact, iyon po ang nakalagay sa aming complaint, ay napaka-partikular sa participation.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Hindi nyo po sinasabing ngayon yon pero hindi nyo rin sinasabing hindi sila impeachable doon.

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi po yon naging bahagi ng aming paghahanda ng impeachment complaint.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  The reason I asked that, kasi maraming nagtatanong, hanggang ngayon, maging abogado man o hindi, bakit si CJ lang kung desisyon ito ng buong korte, at iyon ang isang sa aking paniniwala, nililinaw ng ating Presiding Officer, ang Chief Justice noong umpisa, na kailangang ipakita nyo kung bakit si Chief Justice ay kailangang ma-impeach, samantalang decision ito ng buong korte.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Can I ask that one clarification doon sa witness, ano?  Bakit si CJ, noong tinanong ka ng defense lawyer ano, ni Justice Cuevas, ang sagot mo, okay lang yong ibang mga justices, hindi po ba kayo—hindi nyo tingin na mali, na final and executory na at babaligtarin pa ng korte?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Unang-una, mali yon, final and executory na, babawiin pa, at pangalawa, siya lang yong kakaiba, dahil nag-inhibit na siya sa umpisa, nag-participate siya sa recall, at nag-inhibit ulit pagkatapos ma-recall.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Assuming na totoo, na siya ang nag-maniobra para mangyari ito, e kung sumunod naman yong iba, hindi ba buong korte ang nagdesisyon nito at hindi lang si CJ Corona?

MR. ANDUIZA.  E kung malalaman ho namin na ganoon, di pati sila may liability, Sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Well, anyway, Mr. President, my time is up, and as the Madam Prosecutor, the good prosecutor, they will elaborate, I just like to make that point, na kailangan malinaw na malinaw sa amin at sa buong bansa, kapag inimpeach natin ang isang justice, base sa isang desisyon, anong kaibahan iyong liability noong buong division or nung en banc doon sa liability ng isang justice lang na yon.

Thank you, Mr. President.

REP. BAG-AO.  Pwede pong sumagot sa huli nyong punto?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, may I ask for …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I just would like to elicit an admission from the witness, Your Honor, through his counsel, whether they admit that the decision on the merits awarding them millions of damages had not been touched in the resolution which is questioned, because what is being reconsidered is only the motion denying the second motion, not the decision, because the decision on the merit still stand.

There was a first motion denied.  There was a second motion, denied also.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, there is no detriment to the complainants?

MR. ANDUIZA.  Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, may I ask a couple of questions only, Your Honor.

REP. BAG-AO.  Your Honor, we can argue about that but we do not want to make any admission because that is part of the issue that we are trying to resolve.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  I am just clarifying.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICEER.  I hope that the prosecutors are not jumpy.  You know, I am linient, but you know the procedure in the court you cannot interject any statement while I am talking to another counsel.  Counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, in compliance with the suggestion of the court, we are showing the decision now just to prove our point that what was reconsidered is not the decision on the merits but the resolution denying the second motion for reconsideration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, the original decision stands.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Today.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  And up to now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And in whose favour was that decision?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In favour of the FASAP.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The FASAP.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. BAG-AO.  Gusto ko lang po sana itanong kung cross-examination po ba ito o nag-uusap po tayo ng admission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman has the floor yet.  He is asking a clarificatory question with respect to your manifestation as counsel.  So, I am authorizing him to do that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I now proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Likewise, in the resolution of October 2, 2009, a copy of which is part of their evidence, Your Honor, Exhibit NNNNNN, there is no revocation of the original decision because what is in controversy here is the denial of the second motion for reconsideration.  And it is still pending before the Supreme Court en banc, whether that denial or withdrawal is valid, legal or should be allowed.  Not the decision on the merits, Your Honor.  The decision is still in their favour.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Maliwanag iyan.  Nagkaraoon ng decision in favour sa FASAP, nag motion for reconsideration iyong kalaban nila, iyong PAL, di b a?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Dineny ang motion for reconsideration.  Pagkatapos ang PAL muli nag-file ng second motion for reconsideration, dineny din.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ngayon, ano ba iyong administrative matter?  Ano ba iyon?  Is that going into the merits of the case or it is just an administrative matter to dispose whether the matter is to be resolved by a court or just to be thrown into the waste basket?  I am addressing the question to the prosecution.

REP. BAG-AO.  Babasahin ko po.  The court furthermore resolves to reraffle this case to a new member in charge.  Ang ibig sabihin po, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To reraffle.

REP. BAG-AO.  At ang naging epekto po ng  AM case na ito in relation to GR 178083 ay wala pong execution na nangyari.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Teka muna.  Bakit nga kailangan ang reraffle?

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi po ipinaliwanag.  Ang naging epekto po …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Itinanong mo ba bilang abogado bago mo ginawa itong articles of impeachment, bakit kailangan ang reraffle?

REP. BAG-AO.  Iyon po ang ipipresenta natin ngayon po sana sa kasong ito.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  As a matter of procedure.  You are a lawyer, you should know.

REP. BAG-AO.  Sa ngayon po ay may pending MR.  Ang mga partido po ng FASAP dito sa AM case na ito.  At iyon nga po ang gusto nilang linawin sa korte na nagbigay ng resolution dated October 4.  Kung ano ang basihan, bakit ni-recall ang decision kung dalawang beses na itong dineclare na final and executory doon sa GR No. 178083.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ang itinatanong ng Presiding Officer iyong administrative matter na binnaggit ninyo, ano ba iyon?  To reraffle iyong kaso.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  To recall the resolution po dated September 7 issued by the Second Division in this case.  Ni-recall po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyong reraffle na iyon, has nothing to do with the merits of the case.

REP. BAG-AO.  Mayroon po.  Ni-recall.  Ni-recall po ang case na ito.  In fact …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano ang ni-recall?  Iyong decision na ginawa na, iyong una?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  Iyong GR No. 178083.  To recall.  The court en banc further resolves to recall the resolution dated September 7, 2011.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano iyong resolution na iyan?

REP. BAG-AO.  Iyon po ang resolution sa GR No. 178083 na dine-deny iyong  second motion for reconsideration ng PAL na kaso with FASAP.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Not the decision on the merits, Your Honor, if we may be allowed to be heard. May we be allowed even one minute…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead, you have one minute.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Now, what these proceedings denominated as AM, Your Honor, came into existence because of that letter allegedly to the Clerk of Court, Your Honor.  Since there was no resolution, it was labelled as AM case and it does not refer to the case on the merits.  It has nothing to do with the award of multimillion peso compensation to the FASAP, Your Honor.  The original decision stands.  But what was recall is the denial of the second motion for reconsideration.  In other words, when it goes back to the court en banc what will be litigated is the withdrawal of the second motion for reconsideration, valid or not or legal.   That is the only thing, not the decision on the merits, Your Honor.  That is why it is merely an AM, administrative matter, not a main case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Anyway,…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I hope I am not lecturing on the…

REP. BAG-AO.  Permission to respond, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Just a few clarificatory factual questions to the witness.

Your Article III is about violating the canons because the respondent allowed the Supreme Court to act on mere letters.  But kayo din, ang FASAP ba ay sumulat din sa Supreme Court?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Iyong mga kasamahan ko po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Meron din pong sulat ang FASAP sa Supreme Court.  Tama po ba iyon?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Not FASAP, iyong mga members po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Members ng FASAP.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So sumulat po kayo at in-expect nyo rin na aksyunan din iyong sulat ninyo?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi po kami ang sumulat pero iba ho iyong pagkakatrato.  Noong sumulat ho iyong mga kasamahan namin…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tinatanong sa iyo kung in-expect ninyo na aksyunan ng Korte Suprema iyong sulat ninyo.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hini po FASAP ang nagsulat.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Okay, hindi ikaw ano so mga kasama mo.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So wala nga sila dito pero at least factual na iyon na may mga kasama kang sumulat din sa Supreme Court.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  May dahilan din siguro  sa pagsulat sa Supreme Court, gusto rin nilang maaksyunan din iyong laman ng sulat nila whatever that is.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Sa pagkaka-alam ninyo po, kaninong sulat po ang nauna, ang sulat po noong mga kasamahan ninyo o iyong sulat ni Atty. Mendoza.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Nauna iyong sulat ng mga kasamahan naming.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Okay.  So ang reklamo lang ninyo is ang ginawa ng Supreme Court—sino bang kumilos pala doon sa sulat ng mga kasamahan ninyo?  Si Chief Justice Corona din ba ang nag aksyon doon na pinasagot iyong other party?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Chief Justice Puno.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Puno pa noong time na iyon.  So at least na klaro ko na rin sa sarili ko na ang reklamo lang ninyo hindi iyong pag aksyon sa sulat pero iyong ibang klaseng aksyon sa sulat.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Tama po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So hindi masama ang sumulat sa Supreme Court at malagay sa agenda iyong sulat at aksyunan

MR. ANDOIZA.  Tama po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Tanggap ninyo iyon?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Pero ang pagkaka-alam ko ho na pleadings lang ang pwede naming i-file.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Oo nga pero siyempre iyong mga kasama ninyong sumulat, gusto rin nila na may resulta rin iyong sulat nila so maaksyunan din iyong sulat nila.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Oo, dahil naiinip na po, 14 years na iyong kaso.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Opo.  So tinitignan ko lang po iyong point of view ninyo.  Okay po.  Thank you po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Gusto ko lang malaman sa iyo, Ginoong Witness, bakit hindi ikaw ang sumulat bagaman ikaw ay ang presidente noong organisasyon?  Bakit iyong mga kasamahan mo ang sumulat na hindi pinadaan sa iyo bilang presidente.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Dahil iyong bandang nasa 2 years na ho iyong, 12 years na ho kasi iyong kaso nainip na iyong ibang mga kasamahan namin so may kanya-kanya sila on their own, may sumulat, may mga pumunta sila…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pero ikaw bilang presidente nila, leader nila, hindi ka nainip.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Nainip ho kami, nagpa-follow up ho kami sa Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  Tinatanong ko lang sa iyo kung nainip ka o hindi ka nainip.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Inip na inip ho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O nainip pero hindi ka sumulat.

MR. ANDOIZA.  Hindi po ng letters.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anything else?

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Drilon, Mr. President, wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who?

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Ilang katanungan lang po para maliwanagan po ang sarili ko addressed to counsel for the prosecution.  Unang-una, iyong main decision dito ay ini-release noong July 22, 2008.  Ganoon po ba?

MR. ANDOIZA.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ngayon, may motion for reconsideration seeking to reverse the main decision, tama po ba yan?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ito po’y dinenay ng Korte Suprema.

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo

SEN. DRILON.  Kailan dinenay?

REP. BAG-AO.  October 2009 po.

SEN. DRILON.  October 2009.  Pagkatapos itong dinenay yung motion for reconsideration, mayrong second motion for reconsideration seeking again to reverse the main decision.  Tama po ba yon?  Is that correct?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  And what action was taken on the second motion for reconsideration?

REP. BAG-AO.  Na-deny po ito ulit noong September 7, with finality 2011.

SEN. DRILON.  Na-deny with finality noong September?

REP. BAG-AO.  7, 2011.

SEN. DRILON.  Ngayon, pagkatapos nung denial with finality, merong third motion for reconsideration via a letter of Atty. Mendoza?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  Apat na sulat po.

SEN. DRILON.  Apat na sulat.  At dahilan po dito sa sulat, ang sinasabi ninyo ay pinayagan na buksan muli yung desisyon na naging final na?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ayun.  So sa ngayon, yung desisyon na naging final ay nabuksan muli?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.  At in fact po, hindi po siya pwedeng ma-execute ngayon.

SEN. DRILON.  Salamat po.

REP. BAG-AO.  Walang entry of judgement po hanggang ngayon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Teka muna.  Sandali lang.  Yung pangalawang motion for reconsideration na dinenay din yung first motion for reconsideration, ang sinustain yung first motion for reconsideration, sinong division ang nag-decide non?

REP. BAG-AO.  Third Division po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Third Division.  Yung first motion for reconsideration, sino ang nag-decide?

REP. BAG-AO.  Third Division po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Third Division.  Noong nadesisyunan yung—Nung ginawa yung denial nung second motion for reconsideration by the Third Division, yun bang mga member nung Third Division ay pareho nung member na nag-decide don sa first motion for reconsideration?

REP. BAG-AO.  Hindi po, Your Honor, kasi po may mga nag-retire na po sa kanila.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  A, ganon.

REP. BAG-AO.  At dalawang beses pong nagkaroon ng reorganization.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sa kaalaman ko kasi, ang pwede lang mag-participate sa desisyon tungkol sa isang kaso ay kung sino lang yung mga duminig nung kaso.  Yung mga iba na nadon sa dibisyon na hindi duminig ay hindi sila pwedeng makialam.  Hindi ba?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kaya tinatanong ko yan, baka nagkaron ng diperensya yung problema ng membership nung Third Division.

SEN. BAG-AO.  Wala po.  Yun pong mga nag-decide po ay laging kumpleto every time may desisyon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Pero don sa desisyon nung second motion for reconsideration na sinustain yung first motion for reconsideration ay iba na ang composition nung Third Division?

REP. BAG-AO.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  Counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’ll just make a short manifestation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I had a hard time convincing myself, Your Honor, to the status of the main decision because it was never mentioned in the order of recall that the decision on the merits shall be the subject matter of deliberation, Your Honor.

What is merely referred to the court en banc is the correctness, the accuracy and the validity of the recall of the second motion for reconsideration, Your Honor, not the main decision.  I do not agree with that.  But I cannot object because according to the rules, Your Honor, we cannot argue with the Members of this court, Your Honor.

So I just made it of record to make the stand of the defense clear and categorically.

Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  (Gavel)

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Thank you.

Mr. President, I recall, I think it was yesterday, we had asked for a memorandum on the functions of the, I think, the administrative functions of the Chief Justice.  I’m not sure if a timeframe was given, but may I know from the prosecution if this has been submitted, will be submitted?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s correct.  The Chair required the prosecution because there was an issue about what are really functions of the Chief Justice that they should submit to us, their memorandum defining what they consider to be the function of the Chief Justice.

REP. AGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.  We confirm that, Your Honor.  And may we ask—we started already, Your Honor, but may we ask until Monday to submit that memorandum of authority, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is so simple.  All you have to read is Article VIII.

REP. AGABAO.  May we ask then until Friday, Your Honor.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To be fair to you, you are given until Monday.

REP. AGABAO.  Thank you.  Thank you.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Well, I would just like to put on record, without that legal memorandum, I continue to be confused on the articles of impeachment, specifically article III, Section 3.3, because it basically states here that respondent himself cause and allow the violation of the adverse party’s constitutional rights to due process.

3.3.1, the matters made worse since the recall is reported to have been at the instance of the respondent Corona.

3.3.2, what is even more disturbing is that under respondent Corona’s watch as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court appears to be acting on mere letters.

So, we would like to be guided accordingly, if in fact, any, if at all, any violations committed by the Supreme Court, the division or en banc, is because of the Supreme Court—of the Chief Justice who should be held liable on his sole account, as compared to any acts or omissions committed by other members of the division or the en banc.

So, we need to make a distinction, similar to what Senator Allan has said, otherwise, I cannot still follow, why this becomes a responsibility of the Chief Justice, and we have already taken up two days on this matter.

Thank you.

REP. AGABAO.  We will make sure, Your Honors that that will be included in the memorandum of authority, Your Honor.

Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, since we are dealing with this, with the permission of the honorable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel is recognized.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Since we are dealing with article III of the impeachment complaint, Your Honor, and in order to obviate the possibility of any deferment in my cross examination, may I be allowed to ask counsel for the prosecution to kindly inform us the litigants referred to in their third impeachment complaint, which is, and in discussing with litigants, regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

This seem to be plural, Your Honor, litigants, so, there are more than one.  May we know who they are, just so, we can prepare for our defense and cross examination, Your Honor.

REP. AGABAO.  May we ask, Your Honor, that the defense take a look at the compliance list.  I think, it is enumerated there …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, discuss litigants regarding—I am not asking for the list of witnesses.  I am asking a categorical question, Your Honor, and that is, who are these litigants.  There are so many witnesses listed in their list of witnesses.  I am not suppose to swallow hook line and sinker every name stated in there.  I just want to know, Your Honor, in behalf of the impeached public official, the litigants they are referring to in this complaint.

If there is none, then, we will be content in that statement.  None other except …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What paragraph of …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Number three, Your Honor.  The last portion thereof, and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

This assumes a situation where the honorable Chief Justice, in his capacity as such, had entertained litigants in his sala or in his court, discussing with them cases, because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the prosecution ready to answer this simple question?

REP. AGABAO.  Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you wrote these articles of impeachment, I am sure that you understood every word that you wrote here.

REP. AGABAO.  What I can confirm, Your Honor, is that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What are these litigants?

REP. AGABAO.  What I can confirm, Your Honor, is that the respondent has an ex parte conversation with Vizconde and Dante Jimenez.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is Dante Jimenez a litigant?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Is Dante Jimenez a litigant?

REP. AGABAO.  He is not a litigant, Your Honor…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My question is, who are these litigants, Your Honor, not who are your witnesses.  That is a very clear and positive query.

REP. AGABAO.  What I can confirm, Your Honor, that I can confirm that …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  None other, except …

REP. AGABAO.  Vizconde.  Vizconde.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Only Vizconde.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway counsel, at the proper time, when they present witnesses, you take your legal remedies.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but I am worried that the court may not understand us when we ask for a deferment.  So, in order that we will be prepared, we humbly and most respectfully request that these litigants be named so that we will be ready.  We will not ask for a deferment.  We had been accused of delaying the proceedings in this case.  Now, that we are accelerating it, they do not seem to be cooperative, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request the prosecutors to tell us if you can identify the litigants involved.  I am sure that when you prepared these articles of impeachment, I assume that you knew the meaning of the terms you are using.  I have no doubt about that.  So, I think the question is proper.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor, I can confirm categorically that the litigant referred to is Vizconde.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Only Vizconde.

REP. AGGABAO.  Vizconde, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  None other.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

REP. AGGABAO.  None other.  None other, Your Honor.  I can confirm that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, this is not litigants but litigant lang.

REP. AGGABAO.  It is a case of less than perfect drafting, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you for the admission.

REP. AGGABAO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will be ready then, Your Honor, if that is the correct manifestation.  If it is the stand of the entire prosecution team, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness is discharged.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you ready with your next witness?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, our next witness is the branch manager of the PS Bank, Katipunan Branch, Loyola Heights.  This is under subpoena and was commanded to appear 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon today, February 8.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What article are we discussing here?

REP. TUPAS.  Article II, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Article II.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, because we would have presented this the other day, Your Honor, but because we awaited for the ruling or resolution of this honourable tribunal, which was issued Monday.  So, may we go back to Article II, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be heard in connection with this, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The issue relative to these bank deposits, Your Honor, is now under question, Your Honor.  With apology and with the indulgence of this honourable court, we went on certiorari before the honourable Supreme Court raising this particular matter as an issue in our claim for grave abuse of discretion justifying the result to certiorari under the expanded jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Your Honor.  If this witness will be allowed to testify now, which is not scheduled, Your Honor, we are worried that our petition may be rendered moot and academic, Your Honor.  So, out of respect for the Supreme Court, Your Honor, we beg most respectfully that this be deferred even up to Tuesday, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you present another witness today with respect to Article III.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, for today, two witnesses were subpoenaed and these are the bank officials.  They are bank officials.  It was scheduled by this honourable tribunal that they appear today and I have information that they are here and we want to present them, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is in connection with impeachment no. 3, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  No, no, no.  The only reason, Your Honor, if I may proceed, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the defense, we cannot stop the process, with due respect to the Supreme Court.  We are mandated to try and decide this case.  The language of the Constitution is shall forthwith proceed with the trial and decision of this case.  Now, you are free to state your objection on any question against the presentation of these witnesses but we will allow the presentation of the witnesses who are here now.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With due apologies to the honorable Court, Your Honor.  We went this far because of the statement on the part of Your Honor that we are not precluded to take any remedy in favour of the impeached public official under the rising sun.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, we did so, Your Honor, and we are not seeking a deferment but merely because this is one of the issues that we wanted to raise Your Honor.  And we merely followed the suggestion of the honourable court.  I do not think it will be a delay of the proceedings, a matter of one or two days, Your Honor.  We are not in total conformity and in full accord with the fact that this impeachment court is supreme in any matter relative to the trial because that is enshrined under the Constitution, Your Honor.  What we brought to the honourable Supreme Court is the presence of what we call, with due apologies to the court, grave abuse of discretion in exercising the trial powers of this court, Your Honor.  And the Supreme Court  had acted on similar cases.  For instance, in the case of Francisco, Your Honor, what was questioned in there is the right to institute the impeachment proceedings.  Supreme Court said, no question, it is the House of Representatives.  But in the exercise of that power although it is stated sole power to initiate then we are empowered, it is our duty and power to inquire whether in the exercise of that power or authority, there was grave abuse of discretion warranting the participation or the coming over of the Supreme Court, Your Honor.  We do not mean to say and it is our proposition, Your Honor, that this court has the power.  That is undebatable, we submit to that.  But in the exercise of that power, that must be in accordance with the Constitution, it must be in accordance with the laws and the rules of procedure.  If the Supreme Court said, there is no abuse of discretion, then we humbly submit, Your Honor.  That is only our point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This Presiding Officer is in a quandary at the moment because there is no order from any authority to stop the proceedings of this court and yet we are now being asked to stop it.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, we want to proceed, Your Honor.  In fact after the resolution last February 6 approving the request of the prosecution to issue subpoenas to PS Bank and BPI, there was a motion to defer action of subpoena of banks from defense.  It was ruled just now.  So to us there is no legal obstacle to proceed and we want to present the witness, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the court, I thought we are discussing impeachment Article No. III.  We came here prepared for Impeachment No. 3.

REP. TUPAS.  If I may, Your Honor please, just a very short…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Supposing the Supreme Court came out with the pronouncement that the subpoena issued as against the bank officials and the production of those documents  is not in accordance with law, Your Honor, what will happen with the proceedings here?  Will it be considered null and void?  Will it be considered valid, Your Honor, if it is the Supreme Court speaking on the issue already?

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor please, yesterday…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution.

REP. TUPAS.  Yesterday, we presented, one of the prosecutors stood up and manifested that with reservation on Article II the first witness for Article III will be presented but with reservation.  The reason for that was we had request last week for issuance of subpoena to the banks specifically the PS Bank Katipunan Branch and BPI.  That is the reason why we presented one witness for Article III but because or last Monday the tribunal decided and the witnesses were commanded to appear today.  That is why we are now ready for Article II, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the absence of a TRO from the Supreme Court, the Chair rules that we must proceed with the tria.  So bring your witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you so much, Your Honor.  May we call on the branch manager or any duly authorized representative from PS Bank, Katipunan, Loyola Heights.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I only hope and pray, Your Honor, that the handling of the direct examination will be the chief legal prosecutor in this case, Your Honor.  Just so we can  have a good…

REP. TUPAS.  I will not bite that bait.  And in connection with this, Your Honor, may we request that Atty. Demetrio Custodio, one of the private prosecutors, be recognized to conduct the direct examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why not the head of the panel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Why not the chief, yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Because according to the Presiding Officer from the very beginning, we had the ground rules and in the presentation of the witness, we may employ or engage the services of private counsel, Your Honor please.  And right now we want to, one of the prosecutors, Atty. Demetrio Custodio  to conduct direct examination for the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let Counsel Custodio handle the direct.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Good afternoon.  Magandang hapon po, Mr. President.

My name is Atty. Demetrio Custodio Jr.  I would like to respectfully enter my appearance as one of the private prosecutors, subject to the control of the public prosecutors of the House, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Where is the witness?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May we beg the indulgence of the tribunal, Mr. President.  The witness is being summoned.

SEN. DRILON.  May I ask for a one-minute suspension while the witness is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for one minute.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  One long minute, Your Honor, so we can attend to personal necessity already?  Pwede?  One long minute, Your Honor, to attend to personal …

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will suspend the trial for five minutes.  (Gavel)

At 4:41 p.m., the trial was suspended.

The trial resumed at 4:57 p.m.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is resumed.

Is the witness in the courtroom?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, the witness is here, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Where is the witness?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May we call on the representative of PS Bank to the stand, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Clerk of Court swear him in.

THE SECRETARY.  Please raise your right hand.  Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding.

MR. GARCIA.  I do swear.

THE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you have a counsel of your own?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Ask him to enter his appearance so that he can protect you in this trial.

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, may I ask that—may I sit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Let the counsel for the witness please enter your appearance to counsel your witness when there is a sensitive question to be asked.

MR. PUNO.  Good afternoon, Your Honors.  Respectfully entering my appearance as counsel for Philippine Savings Bank.  I am Atty. Regis V. Puno of Puno and Puno in collaboration with Atty. Vincent Bayhon and Richie Pelares, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Make your appearances of record.  Mr. Counsel for the prosecution, proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Before I do, Your Honor, I just like to make a slight manifestation, if I may.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the manifestation?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, we are minded by the previous suggestions

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … in dealing with your own witness in a direct examination?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, I am, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.  (Gavel)

ATTY. PUNO.  I apologize, Your Honor.  In relation to the manifestation of the prosecution, …

SEN. DRILON.  Point of order, Mr. Chairman, Mr. President.

If I understood it correctly, counsel here is allowed to enter his appearance as counsel for the witness.  My understanding is that the witness may consult the lawyer, his lawyer on certain points, especially points of law, but I don’t think counsel can address this court.  He is not a party to this case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.  Refrain from participating in the proceeding other than to advice your client, the witness, in the event that his rights would be affected.

Proceed, counsel.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Garcia, good afternoon.

MR. GARCIA.  May I consult my counsel, Sir?  (Laughter)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I was only saying good afternoon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Order.  Incidentally, this witness is representing as a bank.  And that bank was the one subpoenaed.

Now, the counsel for the witness may counsel your witness if the tendency of the question would have any bearing to injure your bank, okay?  So ordered.  (Gavel)  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Garcia, good afternoon again.

MR. GARCIA.  Good afternoon, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Will you please state into the record your position in the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Name, personal circumstances.  Proceed.

MR. GARCIA.  Good afternoon, honourable Members of this honourable court.

I am Pascual Garcia III.  I am personally the president of Philippine Saving Bank.  And may we ask the court an opportunity to make a short statement.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  If Your Honor, please.

This witness is our witness, Your Honor, and he is subject to our questioning  and presentation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  … and we will not allow, with due respect to you, Mr. Garcia, at this time to make any manifestation or any statement to the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, just answer the question that will be asked of you.  And if you are in doubt about your answer, ask the advice of your counsel.  Proceed.  (Gavel)

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Garcia, you are here by virtue of a subpoena, correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir, I am.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have a copy of the subpoena?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, this is in violation of the Rules of Procedure.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The purpose for which this witness is being present, Your Honor, must be made of record.  That’s what the rules require.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I state my purposes, Your Honor.

This witness is offered to prove two things, Your Honor.  Number one, that Chief Justice Corona is the holder and owner of the 10 accounts that are the subject of the subpoena, and that he will also testify on the ending balances of this 10 accounts for the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  And towards that purpose, Your Honor, we will be identifying and authenticating certain bank documents, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

So, you are here, you have a copy of the subpoena, Mr. Garcia?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir, I have.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have with you the subpoenaed documents?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, may I …

SEN. DRILON.  Your Honor, this counsel should not be allowed to whisper and coach this witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, counsel.   Wait a minute,  please, the Chair would like to advice the witness. Ginoong testigo, kapag hindi ka sigurado, sabihin mo sa akin na gusto mong kausapin ang abogado mo bago ka sumagot.

O, sige, proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you again, Mr. President.  To be fair to you, Mr. Garcia, you can consult your lawyer when—but he is not supposed to tell you what to say.

So, do you have…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, counsel, avoid those remarks.  That is known.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  My apologies, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are attacking the ethics of your fellow lawyer.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  My apologies, Your Honor.

Mr. Witness, do you have the subpoenaed documents with you?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, I have.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  One of the documents subpoenaed is account no. 089-19100373.  Do you have that with you?

MR. GARCIA.  No, Sir, I do not have.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is a subject of the subpoena, and will you please explain to the court why we do not have these documents with you.

MR. GARCIA.  If I may, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead, answer the question if you want.

MR. GARCIA.  Mr. President, and honorable Senators of this impeachment court, although the subpoena issued by the honorable impeachment court, has been addressed to the branch manager of Philippine Savings Bank, I, as president of the bank, have personally come to attend to this hearing, out of respect of the bank for the impeachment court, and the importance of this proceeding.

I have chosen to personally attend because as the president of the bank, I owe to the bank and its 600,000 depositors to protect and uphold the rights of confidentiality.

I owe it to my subordinates, 2,693 of them, who may possibly be subject to criminal proceedings and imprisonment.

The subpoena commands PS Bank …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What did you say?

MR. GARCIA.  Who may possibly be exposed to potential risk of liability, Sir.  And if I may just explain…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

MR. GARCIA.  The subpoena commands PS Bank ..

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, please.

MR. GARCIA.  …to bring before the Senate, the original and certified true copies of the account opening form and documents for …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, please.

MR. GARCIA.  … 10 specified accounts, as well as documents showing the balances of said accounts as of December 31, for the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  If, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You cannot interrupt your witness.  He is answering the question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, with due respect, that question was very short, and call for a very short answer.  This is already a narration …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But that is the way he answers it.  Do you want to stop your witness in testifying?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next question.

MR. GARCIA.  Sir, I am responding to the question on the …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  There is a ruling already, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sagutin mo lang yong question.  Sabihin mo kung bakit hindi ka pwedeng magsalita o hindi ka pwedeng sumagot o ibigay mo yong sagot mo.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.  And the question earlier, if I could recall, was whether I had these documents and I mentioned that I did not have them.  And I am now explaining, I am trying to explain why I do not have them.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I will ask you another question, Mr. Witness.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  What documents do you have with you now?

MR. GARCIA.  Sir, I have documents pertaining to five of the 10 accounts.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  All right.  Mr. Witness, the subpoena commands you to bring the opening documents for the stated accounts.  I understand from your answer that you are referring to five accounts, Mr. Witness.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir, I have.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Will you please identify the accounts.

MR. GARCIA.  The accounts are, bank accounts that are Philippine peso bank accounts, the account numbers, 089-121017358; another account 089-121019593; account no. 089-121020122; account no. 089-121021681 and account no. 089121011957-7, all in the name of Renato C. Corona.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  All right, Mr. Witness, your documents that you have with you are official records?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir, official certifications.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  These are certified by your proper officer as the records of the bank.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.  Witness is a very intelligent witness.  We pray that the questions be properly framed, Your Honor, to avoid we objecting.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform the question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is preliminary question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Preliminary to what?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just reform your question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is a certified true copy, Mr. Witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, we object, Your Honor.  The same question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I see the document, Mr. Witness.  Permission to confront the witness, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The objection is sustained, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the question?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The question is, Your Honor, do you have the copies, the opening documents of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  Do you have it?

MR. GARCIA.  As I mentioned earlier, sir, I have certifications on five peso-deposit accounts.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nasa iyo ba iyong mga dokumento na itinatanong noong abogado?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.  This is pertaining to the five, Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have the opening documents for account no. 089-121017358?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, I have, sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Permission to approach the witness, Your Honor, to get the documents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have it with you, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What account number is that?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  089-121017358, Mr. President.  Witness going over his records, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness you are only asked about account no. 089-121017358.  So, answer the question.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir, I have the document.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I see, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, please fix your microphone and state what you are saying into the record.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir.  I am sorry, Your Honor.  This is Account No. 17358 for the year 2009.  This is the record of Account No. 17358 for the year 2009.  For this particular account, sir, there is no balance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.  Will you kindly please leave the witness.  Why are you crowding over the witness?  What is so important about that witness?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, it was only I who sought permission to approach the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  I do not know why the other lawyers are crowding the witness.  I would like to see the witness, how he is answering the question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  There is a question to you, Mr. Witness.  Do you have the opening documents for Account No. 089-121017358?

MR. GARCIA.  The account opening document, I do not have, sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The subpoena specifically asked you to bring the opening documents for this particular account number.

MR. GARCIA.  This particular account number actually has no such document because normally we only have one account opening document which covers and which may cover not just one account but succeeding accounts as well.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  But there is a document, would you confirm, Mr. Witness, that will show the opening of 089-121017358?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, the question is very leading.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  There is a document, Mr. Witness, pertaining—when you open an account, Mr. Witness, there would be documents to be filled out.  Is that correct?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hypothetical, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is a bank practice, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is what you are telling the court but that is no evidence coming from the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, lay your basis.  Lay the basis for your question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I will, Mr. President.  Mr. Witness, can you please state the bank policy or rule or regulation pursuant to the opening of an account.

MR. GARCIA.  Pursuant to the opening of an account, sir, we secure certain documents the first time you open an account and this is an application for an account opening.  We also secure a proper specimen signature card.  For subsequent accounts, we may not actually secure that because the document that we first secure refers and pertains and stipulates that succeeding account openings may not require such documents anymore and this is done for the convenience of the depositor taking into account that oftentimes some depositors may open accounts, close accounts or open a number of accounts overtime and that is one document is referred to.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Alright.  So for this particular account, does your record show when it was opened?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The best evidence will be the document itself.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the objection?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The best evidence, Your Honor, is the document itself.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I see the document, Mr. Witness.  This is a certified true copy as shown by the witness, Your Honor.  May we just respectfully request that it be marked as UUUUUU.  Will you please, Mr. Witness, describe the document appearing in this paper.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know the question please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.  Mr. Witness, what is the relation of that document to Account No. 089-121017358?

MR. GARCIA.  The relation, Your Honor, is that because we have this particular document in one account, that particular account, as far as the signatures are concerned are governed and covered by this particular document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do I get it that this is the document that evidences the opening of 089121017358?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, with the kind permission of the honourable court, very leading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  Evidently, the witness is not familiar with his banking rules.  Answer.

MR. GARCIA.  Sir, I am very familiar with the banking rules.  As response to the counsel’s inquiry about such a document, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, I’m talking to the—I said let the witness answer the question in spite of the objection that your question is leading.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.  My apologies.

That particular account does not have a separate document per se.  It does have other—We have a master document that covers one particular account and other accounts opened after.  And that particular account that you are referring to is covered by this particular document.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I see.  And that particular document shows that it is in the name of Mr. Corona?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Could you identify this document, Mr. Witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What document is that?  Describe it for the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, please specify the document and by describing it, so that it is recorded, so that the other party can take proper measures.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I will, Your Honor.

There is in this paper—Is these two documents, Mr. Witness, up and down?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir, it is.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I would like to refer to you the PS Bank customer identification and specimen signature card, dated May 16, 2007, in the account name of Corona Renato Coronado, and have this marked, Mr. President, as Exhibit UUUUUU.

There appears to be another document at the upper half of this page, Mr. Witness.  Can you explain to the tribunal what this document is?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  A matter of clarification.  You’re showing one piece of paper, is that correct?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Mr. President, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you saying there are two documents in that one piece of paper?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  That is exactly what I am saying, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then describe those two documents.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We already described the bottom half, Mr. President, but there is no description of the upper half document that’s why asking the witness to identify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

MR. GARCIA.  The upper half of the document indicates, actually, the name and other details of Mr. Renato Coronado Corona.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind indulgence of this honourable court.  May we invite, most respectfully, the attention of this honourable court.  The documents being marked are already photographed by those people marking it, which is prohibited.  They have no authority to do that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are doing the photographing?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Those people at the back.  And then this afternoon, in the briefing, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sergeant-at-Arms, exclude all those people that are interfering with this proceeding.  Bring them out of the courtroom.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Including the prosecutors, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are taking liberties out of the patience of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind indulgence of the honorable court, we brought that to the attention of this honorable court, because in the press conference that they will be conducting, they will say, this, this, when there is nothing yet in these documents, Your Honor.  We are still in the process of identifying—they are taking photographs thereof already.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, counsel, for the prosecution, will you kindly instruct your co-counsels and your other witnesses, and your assistants to be fair, not to take any photograph of any document without the permission of this court.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We will do that, Your Honor, and everyone is cautioned to take their seats.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are hereby ordered to do so.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  What was your answer, Mr. Witness, when I asked you what this document is about, referring to the upper half of the document, Mr. Witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Our objection will sustain, Your Honor, that the best evidence will be the document itself.

The witness came over, brought these documents, and he is testifying…

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  For clarity, Your Honors …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just mark the document as an exhibit and let the document speak for itself

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  All right.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We would like to mark the upper half of the document as Exhibit VVVVVV, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it be noted that nobody can approach the witness except the counsel for the prosecution and the counsel for the defense.  No one else.  So ordered.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Can I ask permission for one lawyer to assist me in the marking, while I profound questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  All right.  Mr. Witness, let us now go to account no. 089-121019593.  Do you have the opening documents for this account?

MR. GARCIA.  For account no. 089-12101195-7, I do have the …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Mr. Witness, my question was, the opening account documents of 089-121019593.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We therefore ask, Your Honor, that the answer of the witness be stricken …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  019513—what account is that?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What the witness stated is that what we has with him is the document involving 09, Your Honor, 121001159-7, so, we move to strike out that answer of the witness, not responsive, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes.  So, let us now go, Mr. Witness, to document—to account no. 089-1210189592.  Do you have the opening documents?

MR. GARCIA.  We do not have them …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  9593 …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, I have the account numbers and the account number you mentioned does not appear in the listing that I have.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I restate, Your Honor.  Account no. 089-121019593.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  That is the second account.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have it, Mr. Witness?

MR. GARCIA.  We do not have the opening document for this particular account.

MR. GARCIA.  As I explained earlier, different accounts, subsequent accounts, so-called account opening documents, are by reference account opening documents, the account opening document of a preceding account.

ATTY. CUSTODIO. So, there is a preceding account for this particular account that I am asking you.

MR. GARCIA.  For all of the accounts in PS Bank, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the answer of the witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kindly speak louder.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the answer of the witness to your question?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir.  By way of reference, we have an account opening documents for one account  which is good for and covers subsequent accounts …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  So, there is only opening document for all accounts that is covered by that particular opening document.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And will you refer to it, Mr. Witness, if you have already referred to it earlier.

MR. GARCIA.  This is for account no. 089120121011957.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  How about, Mr. Witness, 089-121020122 …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question appears vague, Your Honor.

MR. GARCIA.  Sorry, sir, it is not in the subpoena.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the question?  You are talking what about …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  It is in the subpoena, Your Honor.  May I be clear.  089-121020122.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What are you asking about this account?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The opening document, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness may answer if he understands the question.

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, we do not have specific account documents for that account but we do again have account opening documents for it.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And what is that opening account document that you are referring to?

MR. GARCIA.  089-12101195-7.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Is it your testimony, Mr. Witness, that from the opening account, document for 089-121011957, that is also the opening document account or opening document for the other accounts, Mr. Witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, Your Honor, with due apologies to this court, we are constrained  o object.  Very leading, Your Honor.  The witness is on direct-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The answer may remain.  Proceed.

MR. GARCIA.  We do have, sir, the opening documents again of 12101195-7 which by way of reference would apply to other and all accounts.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I see.  Okay.  Thank you very much.  So, now, can we go to the second part of the subpoena that tells you to bring the bank statements showing the year-end balances for the said accounts as of December 31, 2007, December 31, 2008, December 31, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  Did you bring the documents?

MR. GARCIA.  Sir, we brought bank certifications stipulating details and ending balances as required in the subpoena for five of these accounts.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Will you please state into the record what bank accounts you brought documents on.

MR. GARCIA.  For the record, we have brought documents, certifying balances as of the end of the years indicated.  For account no. 089121011957; 089121021681, 089121020122, 089121019593 089121017358.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I see, Mr. Witness, the document.  May we, Your Honor, mark the ending statement for account no. 089121011957 for the year December 31, 2007, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is no identification made by the witness yet, Your Honor.  Marking is premature.  He merely brought papers but he is now concluding that there are…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there a document that…

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  It was referred to already, Your Honor, that is why.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, but…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, just a minute.  What was your question to the witness?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I was already going to ask that this certification identified already by the witness to be marked.  That was all, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Certification?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes.  He identified bank certifications for the five accounts that he read into the records for the particular years of December 31, 2007, 2008…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Those bank certifications in writing.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is a document?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you describe it into the records.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I have, Mr. Witness, the bank certification showing the ending statement or balance for account No. 089-121011957 as of December 31, 2007.  Witness showing the document, Your Honor.  This is a bank certification of a PS Bank, Katipunan, dated February 7, 2012 certifying among others that the balance as of December 31, 2007 of Account No. 089-121011957, I will repeat December 31, 2007 in the name of Renato Coronado Corona is P5,018,255.26.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, the witness is already…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  P5 million what?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  P5,018,255.26.  That is the balance as of December 31, 2007.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that pesos?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Pesos, as of December 31.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please.  With the kind indulgence of the honourable court, counsel is already testifying.  We wanted to cross him, to subject him to cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  He is just reading the certification.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely our first objection, Your Honor is, the best evidence will be the document.  We are not preventing them from presenting evidence but let it be adduced by question and answer not by manifestation of counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I say something, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, ask the question and then let the witness answer.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We, therefore, move to strike out any and all manifestations made by the lawyer, Your Honor, because it may deceive the public, Your Honor.  This is not evidence presented but manifestation made evidence.  This is violative of all the rules, revolutionizing the law on evidence.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, we were just following the suggestion of the honourable Presiding Judge to read and identify the document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The understanding of the Chair is that the counsel for the prosecution has with him a document called bank certification bearing on account No.089-121011957 and he read the bank balance as of a certain year.  That is what he did.  He was describing the document.  Let the manifestation remain.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Counter manifestation, Your Honor.  That was pursuant to the suggestion of the court that I identify particularly the document.  I was merely complying with…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

May I request that it be marked as WWWWWW. Mr. Witness, do you have the bank certification showing the ending balance for Account No. 089-121011957 for the year December 31, 2008?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you repeat the …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Same account number, Your Honor, 089-121011957.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The same account number?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Same account, Your Honor.

Do you have the bank certification showing the balance for that account as of December 31, 2008?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, we have, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Witness, Your Honor, giving to counsel a bank certification from the PS Bank Katipunan dated February 7, 2002 …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, direct the question based on that document.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Direct questions to the witness based on that document.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is the bank certification that I ask you to present, Mr. Witness?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May we just respectfully request that it be marked as XXXXXX.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have, Mr. Witness, the bank certification showing the ending balance for this particular account of December 31, 2009?

MR. GARCIA.  We have the bank certification for Account No. 189121011957 as of December 31, 2009.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, may we ask permission to allow one of our lawyers, Atty. Manalo, Your Honor, to be able to witness and examine the document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  (Gavel)

The witness was asked about a bank balance of this account for what year?

MR. GARCIA.  For 2009, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is—And what is the answer of the witness?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The witness pertained to this document.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.  We have also certification for that account for the year 2009.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, next question.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We would just like to mark first, Your Honor, as YYYYYY, this bank certification for that account, Your Honor.

Mr. Witness, do you have another bank certification for that same account?

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President, may I be recognized.  Mr. President, may I be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan is recognized.  (Gavel)

SEN. ESTRADA.  How much is the ending balance in 2008, if I may ask?

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, the balance as of 2008 is zero.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kaya pala ayaw mo tanungin.  (Laughter)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know, counsel, I think, there’s a certain amount of fairness that must be done here.  You have to—the truthful in the presentation of the document.  Your are ordered to do so.  (Gavel)

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We will comply, Your Honor.

Do you have—For the record, in compliance with the Senator-Judge, the account balance for that particular account for December 31, 2009 is zero.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

MR. GARCIA.  We have a certification for this account, and it likewise indicates, and if I may explain, a zero balance, because a zero balance here indicates that the account had already been closed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I see.

MR. GARCIA.  For the interest of, probably, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness continue.  What is your answer?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir, we have, and the balance is zero.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have with you, Mr. Witness, the bank certification showing the ending balance for Account No. 089-121021681 for the year December 31, 2007?

MR. GARCIA.  For the year 2007, we certify that for account 089-1121021-681, we have no bank record because this account is not existing.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Will you go to your records again and …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me understand the answer of the witness.  This account is non-existent?

MR. GARCIA.  As of this particular date, 2007, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Non-existent.

MR. GARCIA.  Non-existent, because it have not yet been opened.  There is no such account for that particular year.  If I may explain, Your Honor, the reason why we are …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I will ask you …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  And why was this account included in the request for a subpoena by the prosecution if it is non-existent?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  It has not yet been opened, I believe, is the answer of the witness.  So, may I go to the succeeding years, Mr. …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I just want to clarify this because this Presiding Officer was the one who signed the subpoena, upon a request of the prosecution.  Where did you base your request for the subpoena that included an unopened account, and how did this account number invent itself to be presented to this Presiding Officer, on a request for a subpoena?

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President.  Can we ask questions just to clarify matters?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN.DRILON.  You said, Mr. Witness, that this particular account 089-121021681 was not existing as of December 31, 2007, when did it start to exist?

MR. GARCIA.  Sir, Your Honor, this particular account 089-121021681 had an existing balance as of December 31, 2010.

SEN. DRILON.  How much is the existing balance as of December 31, 2010?

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, the balance as of December 31, 2010 was P7,148,238.83, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  P7,148,238.83.  What type of account is this, a checking account, a time deposit, what is it?

MR. GARCIA.  I am sorry, Your Honor, we will not—we just followed the subpoena, we were not requested to provide those details, so, I did not bring it.

SEN. DRILON.  You mean …

MR. GARCIA.  But it is a peso …

SEN. DRILON.  This is a peso account.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. DRILON.  The question is, what is this, a savings account, a time deposit account, a checking account?

MR. GARCIA.  As we have prepared the certification, Sir, we apologize, we have not indicated …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I clarify, because the Chair, frankly, is confused about this thing.  This account that we are talking about, account no. 089-121021681, have an ending balance as of December 31, 2010, correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about in 2009?

MR. GARCIA.  No such account, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2008?

MR. GARCIA.  None, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2007?

MR. GARCIA.  None, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2006?

MR. GARCIA.  I cannot say, Your Honor, because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was this account opened?

MR. GARCIA.  This account was opened, Your Honor, sometime in the year 2010.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, it existed only since 2010

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What month in 2010?

MR. GARCIA.  I apologize, Your Honor.  We did not bring those details because we just followed the subpoena, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, it is clear that it existed only in 2010.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, it must be prior to December 31st that it was opened.

MR. GARCIA.  Prior to or on, we cannot say.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prior to December 31st of 2010.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, may I respectfully request that the document identified by the witness showing ending balance for the year December 31, 2010, for account no. 089-121021681 be marked as ZZZZZZ, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I did not get the balance.  Did you say the balance, I am just clarifying …  What is being marked, Your Honor.  It is not clear to us.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The bank certification dated February 7, 2012.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The certification itself.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The certification itself.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The bank certification was marked already as an exhibit.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Not this particular one, Mr. President.  This is new.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not with this particular account.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Not for this account for that particular year, Mr. President.  So, that was only for December 31, 2010, Mr. President.  May I move on, Mr. President.  Mr. Witness, can you refer to your records and tell us when account no. 089-121020122 was opened.

MR. GARCIA.  I am sorry, sir, I do not have that information right now because we only prepared the documents as required under the subpoena which stipulates balances as of the end of each year.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have, Mr. Witness, the bank certification showing the ending balance of account no. 089-121020122 for December 31, 2007.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Misleading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2000 what?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  7, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May answer.  May answer.  You are asking for 2007.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

MR. GARCIA.  For account no. 189121020122 for the year 2007, this account had not yet been opened.  We have no bank record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not yet opened.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No bank record.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  How about, Mr. Witness, for December 31, 2008, do you have an ending balance?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request the witness, Your Honor, to kindly speak a little louder so we can comprehend the question and the answer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, what is your objection?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No objection, Your Honor.  I am just requesting that we ask him to talk louder, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is true, Mr. Witness.  Will you kindly speak clearly and a little louder because you are really mumbling.

MR. GARCIA.  My apologies, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kinakain mo iyong words mo eh.  Hindi naming naiintindihan.

MR. GARCIA.  For account no. 089121020122, we have no record as of December 31, 2007.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do you have, Mr. Witness, the bank certification showing the ending balance for this account for December 31, 2009?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2009 or 2008?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  2008.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But the witness stated that they have no records whatsoever, Your Honor.  So, there is no enough basis.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  They have no records for the year 2007.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Let is be listed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Just a minute.  It started with 2007.  Then he went to 2008.  Then he is talking of 2009 now.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  2008, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2008.  May answer.

MR. GARCIA.  For the year 2008, Your Honor, for this particular account, we have no bank record.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Alright.  Will you look at your records again and tell us if there is a bank certification showing the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Witness, do you have a bank record for this account in 2008?

MR. GARCIA.  We have no bank record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In 2009?

MR. GARCIA.  We have a certification here for 2009 for this account but at the end of the year as required by the subpoena, Your Honor, there is zero balance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Zero balance.  2010

MR. GARCIA.  For 2010, also zero balance.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Alright.  Let’s move to the next account, Mr. Witness, for Account No. 089-121019593.

MR. GARCIA.  For the Account No. 089-121019593, we have no bank record as of December 31, 2007.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, you do not, as far as your record is concerned, this bank account does not exist.

MR. GARCIA.  If I may, Your Honor, it doesn’t exist as of 2007, as of 2008  as required by the subpoena.  However, as of 2009, we do have a record of this.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the bank balance of that account in 2008?

MR. GARCIA.  As of 2008, Your Honor, there was no such bank record but as of 2009…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2009.

MR. GARCIA.  … we have a balance of P8,500,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I respectfully request that the bank certification be marked as AAAAAAA, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can we wait for the marking, Your Honor.  We request that it be marked as AAAAAAA, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  Bank balance for Account No. 089-121019593 as of December 31, 2009.  Correct?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct, witness?

MR. GARCIA.  P8,500,000 as of 2009, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As of what year?

MR. GARCIA.  2009, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  For December 31, 2010, Mr. Witness, can you tell us if there is any ending balance for that particular account.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir, I can.  For the year ending December 31, 2010, the balance of Account No. 089-121019593 was P12,580,316.56.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, may we respectfully request  the bank certification identified by the witness and being read from as BBBBBBB, Your Honor

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about 2011?

ATTY. CUSTODIOA.  We did not subpoena that document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  So you did not subpoena the records of this account for 2011, only 2010?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May we respectfully request as we requested earlier bank certification of February 7, 2012 as VVVVVVV, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of the same account?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Of the same account, Your Honor, 089121019593.  The same account, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the bank certification is of what period?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  December 31, 2010, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2010.  Go ahead.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Witness, can you look at your records now and see the ending balance as of December 31, 2007, if any, for Account No. 089-121017358.

MR. GARCIA.  We have no such record, Sir, as of December 2007.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  How about the next year, December 31, 208?

MR. GARCIA.  No such record for Account 358.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  How about December 31, 2009?

MR. GARCIA.  As of December 31, 2009, there is no balance of an account that was previously opened.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Does that bank certification show when it was opened?

MR. GARCIA.  No, Sir, because the subpoena actually only requires us to indicate balances as of the end of that year.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  But if it was no—that opened the year prior, it would have been opened on that year, Mr. Witness.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  Ask the question.  Do not ask speculative questions?  Direct the question.  Do you know when that account was opened?

MR. GARCIA.  No, Your Honor, not at this time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that account existing in your record?

MR. GARCIA.  As of December 31, 2009, the account had already been closed.  There is no balance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the question is, why was it in your account if it was not opened at all?

MR. GARCIA.  It was opened, Your Honor, sometime in December 2009.  But the subpoena requires us to just stipulate the balances of this account as of the end of December 31, 2009, and that’s why, Mr. …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And as of that date, December 31, 2009, it has a zero balance?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Do I get it to mean, Mr. Witness, that there is no record for the following year December 31, 2010?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MR. GARCIA.  There is no record as of December 31, 2010 because the account had already been closed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, may I make a manifestation and motion, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the manifestation about?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The witness had earlier testified or stated that he was unable or did not bring to this tribunal the opening documents and the certification showing the year end balances of several other accounts, Your Honor.  And may I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What are those accounts?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I read for the record, Your Honor, that the accounts that the witness says he did not bring records are:  Number one, 089-191000373.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Number 2, 089-13100282-6; Number 3, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Dash six or two six?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Two six, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Be careful with the way you ask your questions.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Number 3, Your Honor, Account No. 089-141-00712-9.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Dash nine or two nine?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Two nine, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why are you using dash nine?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Because there is a dash in the account number, Your Honor.  But the number went sequentially would read 089-14100712-9.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, we the kind permission of the honourable court, the manifestation is not totally correct, Your Honor.  When the witness stated he does not have with him the documents asked for because it does not exist.  That is the statement of the witness.  That is your manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The request for subpoena identified this account as 089-141007129, and you are giving us another account with a dash.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  It is the same account, Your Honor, except that the dash was in the original records, but does not appear in the subpoena.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  How did you have—why did this—how did the prosecution get these numbers, which are totally different from the account numbers in the bank?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I clarify, Your Honor.  They are not different, they are the same numbers.  May I read it again, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, at this juncture, since this is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Do not interrupt, please.

Go ahead.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I would like to read the several accounts that the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  Read the last one that you mentioned.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  089141007129.

THE PRESIDNG OFFICER.  Not dash 9.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And then, the other account is—I am now reading from the subpoena, Your Honor, 089-141007469.  Next, Your Honor, is, 089-141008145.  And lastly, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do these numbers correspond with the number according to the records of the bank, if you know?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  That is why we are trying to establish …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just say if you know or you do not know.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I do not know for sure, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Okay.  So, this is the request for subpoena, we use these numbers.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.  And then, the last account number is 089-121011957, Your Honor, as the last account.

We read, Your Honor, the accounts—may I make a correction, Your Honor, that last account is not included, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The last account was already discussed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.  So, Your Honor, may we now make a manifestation, that in view of the failure of the witness to bring the subpoenaed documents for five accounts, Your Honor, may we ask that the tribunal direct the witness to present these subpoenaed documents for these five accounts, Your Honor, they, being already mentioned in the subpoena earlier issued by this honorable court.

THE PRESDING OFFICER.  We have already directed them in the subpoena.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor, but because they have failed to comply with the subpoena, Your Honor, may we invoke the rules and ask the honorable tribunal to take appropriate action for—to enforce obedience, Your Honor, to the subpoena that was issued.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Witness, why did you not bring the records of the accounts mentioned, the five accounts?

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, if I may explain.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, just tell me.  Go directly, do not beat around the bush.  Direct your answer.  Why?

MR. GARCIA.  The direct answer, Sir, is because we had assessed and determined that the disclosure of this accounts would have expose us to criminal liability, and we therefore then sought guidance from the Supreme Court on a petition that we made this morning to provide us that guidance, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Cebu, Senator Osmeña.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you.  Mr. Witness, these five accounts, are they dollar or peso?

MR. GARCIA.  They are dollar accounts, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you are invoking your right to keep silent because of criminal liability.

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, we have requested the guidance of the Supreme Court and we thought it best that we do not disclose at this particular time anything on the dollar deposits because it would have invoked us to criminal liability.  The law on FCDU deposits, Your Honor, specifies that these are absolutly confidential and if we do disclose without the consent of the depositor we would have been exposing ourselves to possible criminal liability with an imprisonment of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I direct you to ask advice from your counsel.  If I ask you to disclose these accounts, would you do it?

MR. GARCIA.  With much regret, Your Honor, at this time, we cannot because we have filed a petition with the Supreme Court earlier.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, I just like to clarify.  Sabi ho ng witness, humingi kayo ng guidance sa Supreme Court.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Ano po ang ifinayl ninyo sa Supreme Court?

MR. GARCIA.  We requested for them to give us a ruling actually.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Please be very honest with this court.  Ano ang finayl ninyo sa Supreme Court at ano ang hiningi ninyo?

MR. GARCIA.  We asked for a temporary restraining order to restrain and protect us, restrain the court and protect us from having to disclose these documents because we believe that it is ..

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President.  I will cut you there.  Please be honest with this court.  Ang sinabi mo kasi ano eh, you are seeking guidance.  Kung declaratory relief ang finayl ninyo, ibig sabihin humihingi kayo ng opinion nila at guidance.  Ang hiningi ninyo sa kanila, TRO at saka injunction.  Ibig sabihin, may stand na kayo na magiging liable kayo kaya hindi ninyo ilalabas.  Magkaiba ang dalawang iyan.  Anyway, we will give you leeway, personally, because I assume you are not a laywer.  Are you a lawyer, sir?

MR. GARCIA.  No, sir, I am not a lawyer.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But, please, be very honest with this court.  I will let it slide this time because siguro wala kang intension na ganyan.  Pero ibang iba po iyong sinasabi ninyong eto ang stand ng bangko ninyo, at ibang iba iyong sinasabi ninyo na humihingi kayo ng guidance.  Thank you, Mr,. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just a manifestation because I think the witness mentioned that because of their fear of incurring criminal liability they refused to bring the documents as subpoenaed, is that correct?

MR., GARCIA.  We are refrained from doing so, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Because of fear of criminal liability.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir, because our understanding of  the FCDU Law stipulates such.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.  Well, under the Revised Penal Code, just for the information, Article XI Chapter 2, Justifying Circumstances.  And if I may quote:  The following do not incur any criminal liability.  No. 5.  Any person who acts in the fulfilment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office; and No. 6, any person who acts in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose.”  Perhaps they may reconsider their position given these justifying circumstances under the Revised Penal Code.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  I would just like to direct my questions to the witness.  Mr. Witness, you mentioned that you are not a lawyer.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And do I understand correctly that you made your decision not to bring the subpoenaed documents upon advice of your counsel?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  So, if you were advised by counsel or counsels that you would not be violating the law, then you would submit to this honourable court.

MR. GARCIA.  I believe so, Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  So, the reason you do not have it right now is upon that advice you now decided that you will go to the Supreme Court on certiorari.

MR. GARCIA.  The advice of our counsel is by so doing, we will open ourselves to possible violation of this law which includes criminal liability.  And on the basis of that advice, we made the decision actually that …

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  But it is also true, Mr. Witness, that you made a distinction between the local accounts, the peso accounts.

MR. GARCIA.   Yes, ma’am.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And you brought them because of your belief that you are not violating any law.  Do I follow your logic?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.  As a matter of fact, I would have covered that in an opening statement that I earlier wanted to make but unfortunately I was not allowed to do so.  We would have explained that there are two laws governing deposits, one for peso deposits and another for foreign currency deposits.  And for the peso deposits, while there is secrecy of bank deposits and confidentiality, it clearly stipulates that the exceptions to this rule actually is by the order of the impeachment court and because of that, we have, therefore, complied and we have cooperated.

SEN. CAYETANO   Yes.  We are aware because we have debated this quite lengthily in caucus and we have come to our own conclusion which is why we have asked you to produce those documents.  I think this will be my final question.  Were you also advised that based on the resolution of this impeachment court wherein you were required to produce those documents that there is also possibility of you being held in contempt?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, we were also advised, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  I just want to be sure that the witness is properly advised and one last point.  On the criminal liability that you mentioned, does that liability expose the witness as in his capacity as president, the officers or what is your understanding of the law?

MR. GARCIA.  My understanding of the law is any one who violates it whether they be employees, bank president who discloses information with respect to foreign currency deposit units violates such law which is so stringent.  It only allows as an exception as we understand the law the express written consent of the depositor.  And in this particular case, we do not have any such exception.  We are confronted with this law, we understand the liability.  And if I may add, Your Honor, we are confronted and as I am confronted today with those two possibilities.  First, the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, you did not bring the records.

MR. GARCIA.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President, I have one last question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  I would just like to ask His Honor finally—did counsel also explained to you the provisions of the Constitution that the impeachment court has the sole authority to try impeachment cases?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, the counsel did explain that and we understood that there is this conflict between the law and the requirements of the impeachment court and it will expose us to criminal liability and that’s the reason why we asked for guidance on the Supreme Court, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Osmeña wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Osmeña.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just for clarification, may I address my questions to the prosecutor.  We are a little bit confused.  We counted 14 accounts that were subpoenaed from PS Bank.  Do you have the list in front of you, Attorney?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.  The subpoena lists 10 accounts, Your Honor, only.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  10 not 14.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Not 14, Your Honor.  Our request was 14,Your Honor, but the subpoena that came out only lists 10 accounts, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you very much.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  The witness, Your Honor, stated that he did not bring five accounts which are all dollar accounts because of his belief and his own interpretation of the law that he is exposed to criminal liability.  That matter, Your Honor, is a matter that they can pursue in the courts if they want, but insofar as this court is concerned, there is a subpoena for the witness to bringing these accounts.  There is no TRO issued.  And even if there is a TRO issued, we reserved our judgement on that.  But that’s beside the point at this point.

The important thing is the witness was required by this court to bring these documents.  For his own reasons, valid or not, he said no, I did not bring them.

We therefore, Mr. President, move that this witness be required to explain in writing, not later than twelve noon tomorrow, why he should not be declared in contempt of this court, and to come back at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon with the documents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

As I’ve told the prosecution before, I once sat in that prosecution table.  In the impeachment complaint of President Estrada, we requested, and the Senate issued various subpoenas.  Everyone complied on the peso account.

When Citybank was subpoenaed, representative of Citybank appeared, but said in a polite but firm manner that insofar as foreign currency accounts are concerned, they cannot produce it because of the foreign currency law where there’s absolute confidentiality.

The Senate then did not impose a penalty on the Citybank representative, I do not know.  I don’t remember his name.  But the records of that proceedings would say that.

Now, I just want to say that in treating this, we should also be guided precedents.  There is a precedent in the trial of President Estrada.  Are we going to disregard that precedent?  I thought that what treats any ruling made, either by the Senate seating as a Senate and the Senate seating as an impeachment body, will have to honor past precedents.

Now, we have reached a point where there is now a proposition that the witness be explained why he should not be cited for contempt.  I said we didn’t go that far in 2001.

The witness has explained that he is between the devil and the deep blue sea, namely, the dilemma is if complies with the order of the Senate, he and the officers of the bank run the risk of being sued criminally, and that impeachment could follow.  On the other hand, the proposition here that the orders of the Impeachment Court must be followed.

So the question now is, which one is the witness bound to follow?  To a situation like this, we should grant to the witness some consideration.  Consideration that he is saying that he is faced in front of a dilemma.  If that is so, I resolve crude as to now say, you follow us regardless of the consequences are for you because that is our command.

Have we reached that point, I am asking the Senate, because I experienced already that one—that issue.  If you dare disobey, we will cite you for contempt.

The witness is now a victim of circumstances.  He is not in bad faith.  He is in good faith.  He is faced with a problem, which one is he to follow?  The law of foreign currency deposits which imposes a penalty of imprisonment or the command of the Senate?

I submit, Mr. President, because this is a problem, which I think, will need more circumspection and the certain degree of prudence.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Under the rules, there was a motion, and I take the statement of the Gentleman from Iloilo in the nature of a motion, to ask this witness, to explain why he should not be cited for contempt or punished for contempt in not complying with the order of this court.

Another member of this court, the Gentleman from Makati, took an opposite position, which is to me, a form of objection to the motion.

Then, in that case …

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I offer a middle ground, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Let us cross the bridge when we get there.  We can accept the motion of Senator Drilon, that the witness be asked to explain untili twelve noon tomorrow, period.

Let us decide later on based on his explanation, what to do, and not over a sort of Damocles, as manifested by Senator Arroyo.

Well, that could amend the motion of Senator Drilon, I hope so, Mr. President, and if he will accept …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the tendency of the motion is actually to ask the witness to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt.  There is an objection.  And under the rules, we have to divide the House.  And this is …

SEN. DRILON.  In fact, Your Honor, in fact—may I just make a manifestation, we have not decided to cite the witness in contempt.  For all we know, after he submits his written explanation, we will find it valid, and sustain his position, and therefore, there is no contempt citation.

But he must go on record, and he must be required to explain, as we discuss it earlier, why he should not be cited in contempt, and submit a written explanation, and we decide.  For all we know, I would repeat, we may not even cite him in contempt when we find his explanation plausible and valid.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  If we find his explanation not plausible, not acceptable, then, per force, we will be compelled to cite him for contempt.  And there is an –that is precisely the understanding of the Chair, that there is an objection to that.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  And that is precisely—yes, the Chair is correct, Your Honor, because this is a compulsory process.  We must stand by our compulsory process.  We have subpoenaed the witness.  He has not complied with the subpoena.  We want to know why he has not complied with the subpoena, and if we find his explanation valid, then, so be it, it is valid.

But if he does not, we do not find his explanation valid, then, he is deemed in violation of the orders of this court, and we can cite him for contempt.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But there is an objection to that motion, and so, therefore, the Chair cannot resolve …

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … that issue himself.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It has to be resolved by the House—by the impeachment court as a body.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Arroyo and then Senator Recto, Mr. President.

SEN. ARROYO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati.

SEN. ARROYO.  What I said was not even an objection.  I was presenting a situationer.  A situationer where …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me just clarify.  Are you offering an objection to the position taken by the distinguished Gentleman from Iloilo?

SEN. ARROYO.  I will yield the floor first to Senator Recto.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Recto, Mr. President, and then Senator Arroyo afterwards.

SEN. RECTO.  Thank you, Majority Leader.  Just a clarification, Mr. President.  The witness here is representing an institution.  I do not think that we should cite him for contempt, if at all.  After all, it is the policy, I suppose, of the bank.  I do not think that the witness asked the legal officers of the bank to ask for a TRO with the Supreme Court.  It is a policy of the board of directors.  So, I think it is very difficult to talk about citing into contempt the witness because the board’s position, I suppose, in this case is that FCDUs cannot be opened.  That is the position of the bank, not of the witness, I suppose.  So, let me clarify with the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. RECTO.  Yes.  Mr. Witness, did your bank have a board meeting before you testifying in this impeachment trial?

MR. GARCIA.  For purposes of this impeachment trial, sir, no.

SEN. RECTO.  No.  Not even for you, no discussion in the bank with regard to you bringing these documents as subpoenaed by the impeachment court.

MR. GARCIA.  With the board, Your Honor, no.

SEN. RECTO.  No.  So, was it you, as president of the bank, was it your decision to come here and not to bring the subpoenaed documents?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  It is just your personal position.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor, because it exposes me personally.

SEN. RECTO.  Did you cause also the legal officers of your bank to file with the Supreme Court?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  As president of the bank.

MR. GARCIA.  As president and in my personal capacity, Your Honor, because the criminal liability will be imposed upon me.

SEN. RECTO.  And I suppose, Mr. President, that clarifies the issue and therefore, maybe the witness should come back tomorrow and explain to this impeachment court the position of the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But still, there is a pending matter to be decided by this impeachment court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Joker Arroyo before I insist on my amendment to Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati.

SEN. ARROYO.  Mr. President, I heard the witness say, can you tell me, you said that your concern for how many depositors in your bank?

MR. GARCIA.  We have 600.000 depositors, Your Honor, and as I speak, I believe I speak likewise for l.6 million dollar depositors of other banks as well, who will all be covered by this decision.

SEN. ARROYO.  Now, you mentioned also about your employees.  How many employees do you have?

MR. GARCIA.  We have 2,693 employees, Your Honor, and each one would be exposed.

SEN. ARROYO.  I hope that the Senate will be so unconcerned about 600,000 depositors and 2,693 employees.

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, I presented myself precisely …

SEN. ARROYO.  In fact, what impressed me with your appearance is that what we subpoenaed was simply, whom did we subpoena, by the way?  The branch manager.  Now, you explained that because of the gravity of the subpoena, as president, you came here.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor, I did.

SEN. ARROYO.  So, this is the problem that we have.  And I would like to say that by coming here, you did not want your branch manager to be the one exposed.

MR. GARCIA.  Precisely, Your Honor.  I do believe that as a leader of the bank and as I understand and appreciate that all of our employees, including the branch manager would be exposed to risk of imprisonment.  Upon disclosure, I precisely came here and presented myself, to offer myself as an alternative to them because I am the leader of the bank and I do not want any one of our employees to be exposed to this particular liability.  If there is any liability at all, let it be me.

SEN. ARROYO.  Well, so if that is the case, Mr. President, I’ve said my piece, let the Senate do its worse.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Alright.  Just to settle this issue, Mr. President, upon the, we will just require this witness to submit his written explanation tomorrow afternoon.  In caucus we decide whether or not his act is contemptuous.  So we don’t have that, you know, the Majority Leader has requested that we amend the motion.  If that is acceptable, then we so request that this witness be required to explain his action and then we have a caucus tomorrow and we decide what to do with this witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is precisely the problem of the Chair.  Because the moment we require this witness to submit a written explanation, then we have to make a decision in the caucus.  And if we find that his explanation is not acceptable to us then necessarily this Chair  will have to cite him for contempt and I am sure that the court will cite him for contempt and there is an objection.  I don’t know whether it was an objection  but the Chair has the impression that it is an objection requiring the witness to make an explanation.  That’s my understanding of the position of the Gentleman from Makati and Bicol so that’s why the Chair cannot decide this issue, it is a major issue, and I have to submit it to the House for a division of the House.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, Your Honor.  If I heard Senator Joker Arroyo correctly, he said that it was not an objection and he can confirm or deny that but we thought that we heard him say it is not an objection.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So it is not an objection?  May I request the Gentleman from Makati to state it into the record.

SEN. ARROYO.  Well, frankly, Mr. President, I don’t know whether to call that an objection or a manifestation or an observation.  But my colleague seems to be in a hurry to crucify this witness.  Here is a witness who came here in obedience to our subpoena.  He did not come here, his testimony is not in bad faith.  Look at this witness.  Is he acting in bad faith?  What he is saying only is that he has to protect the bank, the depositors and whatever.  But what is the response of the Senate?  To cite him to explain why he should not be cited for contempt.  Is his action so far contemptuous?  Let me ask you, is his action so far contemptuous?  That is the question.  Because I don’t want to be explaining here and defending that, you know, the moment you speak here and you say something which might favour the respondent, you are pro-Corona.  That is the problem but I have to say it—because we have at all times to observe the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  That in the Bill of Rights every second of it can be availed of, whether a person is good or bad can avail of it.  Now, this person is in effect asking that, why am I being punished?  Have I done anything contemptuous?  If you’re in a hurry, I give up.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  Mr. President, on the contrary we are not, and as accepted by the proponent of the movant, I think it is clear.  So, may I call for the previous question, Mr. President, as amended, for the witness to explain by tomorrow twelve noon, give an explanation of why he did not bring the other …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just an explanation?

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that satisfactory to the proponent of the—The witness is required to submit an explanation why he was not able to bring the records as requested as ordered by this court in the subpoena.  This is not a show cause order.  The order to you is just to submit an explanation, a written explanation to this court.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the witness to appear tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  And the witness is ordered to appear in the hearing tomorrow afternoon at two o’clock.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  May we know from the prosecution if they are through with their direct examination.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  No, you’re not.  Mr. President, because of the lateness of the hour, may we suspend the direct examination and continue tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Direct examination suspended.  (Gavel)

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May we make a motion, Your Honor, and that is to save on time, Your Honor, just in case the tribunal decides to tell the witness to bring the records, Your Honor, so that we’ll be able to terminate our direct examination tomorrow.  This witness now be directed to bring with him the documents for the dollar accounts so that we can continue with our direct examination tomorrow, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have already issued the subpoena, and we are asking him to explain why he did not bring the records according to the subpoena.  That’s the decision of this court.  (Gavel)

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  With that, Mr. President, may we just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The Gentleman from Pampanga, what’s your pleasure?

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, Mr. President, just a clarification regarding the documents that will be forwarded, because the subpoena requested for bank documents, particularly ending balance from 2007 to 2010 of the different accounts, although the witness already testified to.

My question, Mr. President, is that there are some accounts that were zero all throughout but it appears like in the middle of the year, there were some bank transactions.

So, my inquiry, Mr. President, is, just to complete the picture, should we not access those documents in these accounts, not ending balance December 31, but perhaps those accounts that were zeroed monthly balances.

This is an inquiry, Mr. President.  I give it to the wisdom of the Chamber to decide on the matter.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I just remind the distinguished Gentleman that we resolved that during the caucus, and that was decided on already that anything that is not in parallel with dated December 31 of any particular year will not be related to the SALN.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, we submit, Mr. President.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there is a very urgent matter that we have to resolve also.  We have a resolution that we would like to read for the record, just the pertinent portions.  This is a request of the prosecution to subpoena members of the Supreme Court, and this resolution of the court resolves to request for issuance of subpoena requiring Honorable Martin Villarama Jr., Honorable Ma. Lourdes Cereno, Honorable Bienvenido Reyes, and Honorable Presbiterio Velasco, all associate justices of the Supreme Court, to appear and testify as well as bring before this court, the pertinent records in their possession, relative to AM No, 11, 10, 1-SC, letters of Atty. Estelito Mendoza, Flight Attendants Stewards Association of the Philippines vs. Philippine Airlines.

The stated purpose of the subpoena is to require the above named associate justices of the Supreme Court to testify on the participation of Chief Justice Renato Corona, in October 4, 2011 Supreme Court en banc session, specifically the deliberations of the letters.

The court resolves …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  The Chair prepared a written resolution of this issue, and it is best that it is read en toto into the record, for the information of the public.

SEN. SOTTO.  Okay.  Because of the lateness of the hour, Mr. President, may we do that tomorrow or would you want us to read the resolution en toto now?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Right now.  We will wait—we can finish until eight o’clock.  The Chair orders the reading of that resolution.  Let the …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There may be questions from you, people.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the clerk of court read the resolution…

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.

Before we do that, Mr. President, there is a request by a member of the court to just ask a few questions to the witness if we will allow.  Senator Osmeña wishes to be recognized, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Cebu may now proceed.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I would like to address some clarificatory questions of the witness.

Mr. Garcia, the PS Bank is a subsidiary of Metrobank, correct?

SEN. OSMEÑA.  How many percent of the stocks of PS Bank does Metrobank own?  All the holding company that Metrobank uses.

MR. GARCIA.  Metrobank has around 76%.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, Metrobank is in effect the owner of PS Bank.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Now, you are under oath.  Did you talk with Mr. George Ty before you came?

MR. GARCIA.  No, I did not.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Did you talk to Mr. Arthur Ty?

MR. GARCIA.  I did, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  You did.  Mr. Arthur Ty is the new chief executive officer of Metrobank.  Is he also the chairman of the management committee of PS Bank?

MR. GARCIA.  He is the vice chairman of the board.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Who is the chair of the management or executive committee of PS Bank?

MR. GARCIA.  The executive committee, Sir?  The executive committee, actually would be Mr. Arthur Ty.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  That is why I asked you earlier if he is the chair of the executive or management committee.

All right.  So, you did confer with Mr. Arthur Ty.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And Mr. Arthur Ty owns 74% of PS Bank.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  In effect, when you are talking to Mr. Arthur Ty, you are talking to 74% of the board of directors of the PS Bank.

MR. GARCIA.  In that aspect …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  In a manner of speaking.

MR. GARCIA.  In a manner of speaking …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  He is the boss.

MR. GARCIA.  He is the boss. Yes.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  He is the boss.  All right.  So, therefore, you are taking the fall for PS Bank and the board of directors.  In other words, I am asking the Senate to consider subpoenaeing the board of PS Bank to produce the documents.

So, now, it will not only be you who will be cited or would be in danger of being cited for contempt of the impeachment court, it would be entire board of PS Bank.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. There is a pending matter.  I would like to suspend the trial for one long minute.

It was 6:49 p.m.

At 6:54 p.m., the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Clerk of Court is directed to read the resolution of the request for subpoena against Justices of the Supreme Court and/or including the court records.  The witness is discharged in the meantime with an instruction to return tomorrow at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  Proceed.

THE SECRETARY.  :Resolution.  This resolves the request for issuance of subpoena requiring Hon. Martin S. Villarama, Jr; Hon. Maria Lourdes PA Sereno; Hon. Bienvenido L. Reyes; and the Hon. Presbitero J. Velasco, all Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to appear and testify as well as bring before this court the pertinent records in their possession relative to AM No. 11-10-1-Supreme Court re letters of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza re GR No. 178083, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, FASAP versus Philippine Airlines Inc. et al at the en banc session of the Supreme Court on October 4, 2011.

The stated purpose of the subpoena is to require the abovenamed Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to testify on the participation of Chief Justice Renato Corona in October 4, 2011, Supreme Court en banc session specifically in the deliberations of AM No. 11-10-1SC letters of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza re GR No. 178083, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, FASAP versus Philippine Airlines Inc. et al and the action that was made by the Supreme Court relative to such case.  The court resolves to deny the request.

Section 2, Rule 10 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court provides, Section 2, Confidentiality of Court Sessions.  Court sessions are executive in character.  With only the members of the court present, court deliberations are confidential and shall not be disclosed to outside parties except as may be provided herein or as authorized by the court.  The Chief Justice or the Division Chairperson shall record the action or actions taken in each case for transmittal to the Clerk of Court or Division Clerk of Court after each session.  The notes of the Chief Justice and the Division Chairperson who is the Clerk of Court and the Division Clerks of Court must treat with strict confidentiality shall be the basis of the minutes of the sessions.  It is, therefore, unequivocal from the above rule that the sessions of the Supreme Court are executive in character with only the members of the Supreme Court present and that the deliberations therein are confidential.  The intention of the request for subpoena is to require the abovenamed members of the Supreme Court to bring before this court documents relative to their deliberation on a particular case and testify on their deliberations specifically the participation of the respondent Chief Justice in such deliberation.  This court cannot do so without transgressing the basic constitutional principle of separation of powers.  This court is bound to respect the internal rules of the Supreme Court which is a coequal branch of government under the Constitution.

The internal rules of the Supreme Court was promulgated in accordance with the rule making power of the Supreme Court under the Constitution.  Section 5, paragraph 5 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar and legal assistance to the underprivileged.  Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights.  Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi judicial bodies shall remain effective unless it is approved by the Supreme Court.  The only constitutionally recognize limitation of the rule making power of the Supreme Court is that it must not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights which is basically the function of Congress.  Considering that the internal rules of the Supreme Court is a consequence of each rule making power, this court should, it attempt to undermine the efficacy of an act of a coequal branch of government.  Therefore, for this court to issue subpoena in order to require the members of the Supreme Court to testify on their deliberations which are confidential according to its rules, is to make this court omniscient over a co-equal department which will run of how a tripartite system of government and thereby dilute the well entrenched constitutional principle of separation of powers.

This argument is not without justification.  The Congress does not have the power to amend the Rules of Court.  Unlike the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions, where it was specifically provided that the Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court may be repealed, altered or supplemented by Congress.  No similar provision appears in the 1987 Constitution.  This will show that the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is no longer shared by this court with Congress.

The Supreme Court categorically ruled in Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice, the role-making power of this court was expanded.  This court, for the first time, was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights.

The court was also granted for the first time, the power to disapprove Rules of Procedure of special courts and quasi judicial bodies, but most importantly, the 198 Constitution took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure.

In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is no longer shared by this court with Congress, more so, with the Executive.  But while the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions provide that the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement the Rules of Court, said power, however, is not as absolute as it may appear on its surface.  In Ray Cunanan, Congress in the exercise of its power to amend rules of the Supreme Court regarding admission to the practice of law enacted the Bar Flunker’s Act of 1953, which considered as a passing grade the average of 70% in the Bar Examination after July 4, 1946, up to August, 1951, and 71% in the 1952 Bar Examinations.

The Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional.  In his ponentia, Mr. Justice Diokno held that, the disputed law is not a legislation.  It is a judgement, a judgement promulgated by this court during the aforecited years affecting the bar candidates concerned.  And although these courts certainly can revoke these judgements even now for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this court and not the Legislative, nor Executive Department, that may do so.  Any attempt on the part of this departments would be a clear usurpation of its function, as is with the case with the law in question.

The venerable juries further ruled, it is obvious therefore that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character as other authorities say merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license.

By said ruling, the Supreme Court qualify the absolutist tone of the power of Congress to repeal, alter or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.  Thus, if the Congress does not have the power to amend the Rules of Court under the 1987 Constitution, by parity of reasoning, this court does not have the authority to disregard the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court in the exercise of its constitutional rule-making power

Respect should be accorded to the rules promulgated by a co-equal branch of government, as Congress expects the same treatment from other branches of government.  For instance, the Congress, under the Constitution, has the power to determine the rules of its proceedings.

What stands out from jurisprudence on the subject is that, except for some limitations and details found in the Constitution itself, there is a clear recognition of the overall autonomy of the Legislative body, both in the formulation and in the application of its rules.

The power to make rules is not one which one’s exercise is exhausted.  It is a continuous power, always subject to exercise by the House and within the limitation suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other tribunal.

The absolute control which Congress has over its rules is well-illustrated in the case Osmeña Jr. vs. Pendantum.  The Supreme Court in no uncertain terms declared therein, on the question whether delivery of speeches attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly conduct, for which Osmeña may be disciplined, many arguments, pro and con have been advanced.

We believe, however that the House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because the Constitution has confer jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends mainly on factual circumstances, of which the House knows best, but which cannot be depicted in black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the courts.

For one thing, if this court assumed the power to determine whether Osmeña conduct constituted disorderly behaviour, it would thereby have assumed appellate jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer upon a coordinate branch of the government.

The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed by this court, demands in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere.  Each department, it has been said, had exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.

It is thus clear that on matters affecting only the internal operation of the legislature, the legislature’s formulation and implementation of its rules is beyond the reach of the courts.  If this is so, then, this court has also no authority to interfere with nor undermine the control of the Supreme Court over its internal rules.

The House of Representatives, through one of its prosecutors, has intimated that the principle of separation of powers only applies when the Congress, and in this case, is the Senate, is exercising its legislative functions, but not when it is seating as an impeachment court, inasmuch as it has the sole power to try and decide impeachment cases under the Constitution.

This court, however, is not yet ready to accept the prosecution’s contention.  It must be pointed out, while the House has the exclusive power to impeach and the Senate has the sole power to try and decide impeachment cases, it is still the Congress, one of the three branches of government, which is exercising this prerogative under the Constitution.

Hence, whether it is performing a legislative function or seating as an impeachment court, the Senate is not insulated from the operation of the principle of separation of powers, as held in Santiago vs. Sandiganbayan, the doctrine of separation of powers simply means that each of the three great powers of government has exclusive prerogatives and cognizance with its own sphere of influence, and effectively prevents one branch from unduly intruding with the internal affairs of either branch.

This has to be so in order to maintain the balance of power among the three branches.  This is to prevent the aggrandizement of one branch at the expense of another.  This will enjoin one branch from lording it over the other, and prevent too much concentration on powers to only one branch.

WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the prosecution’s request for subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum to Martin S. Villarama Jr., Maria Lourdes PA Sereno, Bienvendio L. Reyes and Presbitero J. Velasco, all Associate Justices of the Supreme Court is hereby denied.

SO ORDERED.

February 8, 2012.

Pasay City”

Signed Juan Ponce Enrile, Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I concur in the result because the resolution is very specific as to the application for subpoena regarding Article III concerning the FASAP case.  However, Mr. President, I have reservations regarding the statement in the early part of the resolution where the essence I get is that the Supreme Court is a co-equal of this impeachment court.  So, therefore, Mr. President, I want to study this matter further, and reserve the right to file a separate concurring opinion.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The Gentleman from Bukidnon.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, I concur in the result also but I do object to the use of the concept of co-equality.  As I earlier manifested, I do not believe that this court sitting as an impeachment court is a co-equal of the Supreme Court because we are not exercising legislative functions here.  We are exercising a specific judicial function.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, likewise I concur as to the result and considering that we are doing pioneering work here in terms of legal precedence and that what we do and decide and the rulings of this court will serve as basis and guide for future courts should there be impeachment proceedings in the future, I would like to manifest that I, too, would like to file a separate concurring opinion, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, I, too, concur with the ruling of the court and of the Presiding Officer, the honourable Senate President, but same manifestation as my colleagues, and I concur as to the application of this ruling to this specific case.  Meaning, I would like to elaborate that there can be circumstances where the records of the Supreme Court can be looked at.  But I will not elaborate at this point in time, Mr. Chair.  Thank you.’

THE ;PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The Lady Senator from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President, I just like to put on record that during the deliberation on this resolution, my understanding, when the Presiding Officer was speaking on this particular statement, that precisely we are respecting the internal rules because to that extent we all have our internal procedures and we respect that the Supreme Court is supreme in their territory as we are supreme in ours.  So, to that extent, I am totally supportive of this resolution because that is the understanding that I believe was intended during the caucus. Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Noted.  What is the pleasure of the chief prosecutor.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, I just want to manifest that the other witness is here today pursuant to the subpoena that commanded her to appear today, February 8.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is that witness?

REP. TUPAS.  The witness is the branch manager of the BPI Ayala Branch but if we are adjourning tonight, may we just request, Your Honor, that that BPI Branch Manager, the name is Ms. Leonara Dizon, be directed to appear to come back tomorrow 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Miss Dizon is hereby ordered, not only instructed, but ordered

to appear in this court at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon to answer questions if she wishes to answer those questions.  So ordered.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN SOTTO.  Thank you.

Mr. President, may we ask the Sergeant-at-arms to make an announcement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-arms is directed to make the announcement.

THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, February 9, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  The Chair hears none; therefore, the trial is hereby adjourned until 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, 09 February 2012.  (Gavel)

It was 7:16 p.m.

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